The Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) and Xstrata Coal will today announce a significant research partnership which will improve the care of people with asthma in the Hunter and beyond.
Xstrata Coal has committed $300,000 to HMRI for a three year study to investigate a newly recognised type of asthma which accounts for 50 per cent of asthma cases.
The HMRI Xstrata Coal Asthma Research Fellow, Dr Katie Baines from the University of Newcastle, will examine blood and sputum samples from people with non-eosinophilic asthma, to identify the role that genes play in the development and treatment of the condition. This kind of asthma does not respond well to common asthma treatment.
"Although this type of asthma is common, there is still much to learn about it. If we know how it works we can design better treatments and one day, may find how to prevent it," said Dr Baines.
"The Fellowship is an exciting opportunity to develop my research in the Hunter region which is internationally renowned for asthma research."
Xstrata Coal Chief Operating Officer NSW, Mick Buffier, says that the company is proud to support HMRI and invest in research which will improve the health of current and future generations.
"This research has the potential to benefit the health of many people with asthma in the Hunter and worldwide. The Fellowship will also enable a promising young researcher to remain in the Hunter and work alongside the world's best to improve asthma treatment," said Mr Buffier.
Dr Baines is a member of the University of Newcastle's Priority Research Centre for Asthma and Respiratory Diseases and works in collaboration with HMRI's Viruses, Infections/Immunity, Vaccines and Asthma Research Program. HMRI is a partnership between Hunter New England Health, the University of Newcastle and the community.
Media opportunity - Launch of the HMRI Xstrata Coal Asthma Research Fellowship
When: Tuesday 6th May 2008 (World Asthma Day)
Time: 9:50am for a 10am start
Who: Dr Katie Baines (HMRI Xstrata Coal Asthma Research Fellow), Mick Buffier (Xstrata Coal Chief Operating Officer NSW), and an adult with asthma will be available for interview and vision opportunities.
Where: HMRI Clinical Research Centre at John Hunter Hospital. An HMRI representative will meet you in the foyer of JHH near the information desk.