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Career Summary

Biography

     I am managing the laboratory of the Respiratory Medicine at the Priority Research Centre for Asthma and Respiratory Diseases (Viruses, Infections/immunity, Vaccines and Asthma at Hunter Medical Research Institute). I am also a post-doctoral researcher investigating respiratory viral infection and immunity, including influenza viruses, coronaviruses, and rhinoviruses.

     Under the supervision of Prof. Peter Wark and Prof. Phil Hansbro I completed my PhD degree in 2011 and demonstrated that influenza viral entry into primary bronchial epithelial cells (pBECs) is not completely dependent on the long considered surface receptors, revealing other potential mechanisms involved in viral endocytosis. Innate antiviral responses are important in limiting viral infection and spread. I demonstrated that human influenza H3N2 is more effective in the suppression of antiviral responses including interferon (IFN)-beta and lambda responses compared to a low pathogenic avian H11N9 strain. This was the result of a more effective human influenza non-structural (NS) 1 protein compared to the avian NS1 protein. Nevertheless a low level constitutive release of IFN-beta was shown to counter-act part of the suppressive effect by the NS1 protein in an attempt to limit viral replication. High pathogenic avian H5N1 strain completely abolished this antiviral response with its NS1 protein. This demonstrates the importance of the antiviral responses to influenza infection, and also highlights the significance of NS1 proteins in the survival and fitness of the virus in human population. 

     My current research focuses on several areas of viral infection and innate immunity in people with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). By using pBECs from healthy, asthmatic and COPD subjects, we are using various molecular biological techniques to investigate the molecular mechanisms underpinning the high susceptibility and severe infection outcomes in these individuals. These include innate immune dysregulations that result in exaggerated inflammatory responses and impaired antiviral responses to viral infections, including various strains and drug-resistant strain of influenza viruses, human coronaviruses, and rhinoviruses. We are also collaborating with World Health Organisation in the investigation of novel therapeutics against high pathogenic strains of influenza.

     This combination of biomedical approaches and the use of clinically relevant in vitro model will ultimately identify any potential and novel therapeutic targets not only for those with chronic airways diseases, but also for the general population against important emerging/re-emerging respiratory infectious diseases.

Qualifications

  • PhD (Medicine), University of Newcastle, 13/12/2010

Research

Research keywords

  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Coronavirus
  • Immunology
  • Influenza
  • Rhinovirus
  • Virology

Research expertise

Molecular biology, virology, and immunology

Languages

  • Chinese
  • English

Fields of Research

CodeDescriptionPercentage
110707Innate Immunity35
060506Virology35
110203Respiratory Diseases30

Memberships

Other

  • Member - Australasian Society for Immunology
  • Member - International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research
  • Member - The Thoracic Society of Australia & New Zealand

Awards

Other

2012TSANZ Travel Award
Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (Australia)
Travel award for TSANZ at Canberra, ACT, Australia
2009TSANZ Travel Award
Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (Australia)
Travel award for TSANZ at Darwin, NT, Australia

Recognition.

2013Priority Research Centre Early Career Research Development Award
The University of Newcastle (Australia)
Priority Research Centre Early Career Research Development Award

Research Award.

2012Winner - Ann Woolcock Young Investigator Award
Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (Australia)
The Winner of Ann Woolcock Young Investigator Award, the most prestigious award in the area of research made by the premier respiratory society of Australia and New Zealand

Travel Award

2014The Milstein Travel Awards
International Cytokine and Interferon Society (Australia)
Travel award for Cytokines Down Under ICIS

Collaboration

I am currently collaborating with Prof. Philip Hansbro's group in establishing the mechanisms of high susceptibility of COPD to influenza infection in a mouse model of COPD, and with Prof. Peter Gibson and Dr. Katherine Baines in the investigation of abnormal immune signalling in COPD pBECs using whole genome microarray analysis.

We are also collaborating with World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza and CSIRO - Australian Animal Health Laboratory on high pathogenic influenza viruses.

Internationally I am collaborating with Prof. Takashi Fujita at the Institute of Virus Research Kyoto University in elucidating the mechanisms of antiviral interferon responses during viral infection. We are also working with Prof. James Mahony at McMaster University Canada on synthetic peptides against viral infection.

Administrative

Administrative expertise

I am working as a member of Institution of Biosafety Committee, advisory to the Vice Chancellor. The committee assists the University to meet the legislative requirements of the Gene Technology Act 2000, as well as monitoring microbiological practice against Australian Standards and other aspects of biosafety related to biomedical and life sciences research.

Teaching

Teaching expertise

Honour projects and RHD projects are available. Topics include respiratory viral infections (influenza, coronavirus, rhinovirus) and immune signallings and responses in people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). These may lead to identification of novel molecular therapeutic targets against important emerging/re-emerging viruses such as influenza or coronaviruses, or to treat those with asthma/COPD against viral infections.

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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Click on a category title below to expand the list of citations for that specific category.

Chapter (2 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2014Hsu A, Loo S, Fathi Aghdam F, Parsons K, Hansbro P, Wark P, 'Airway Epithelial and Early Innate Immune Responses to Virus Infections', Human Respiratory Viral Infections, CRC Press, Worldwide 1-17 (2014)
2014Hsu A, Heng Z, Hansbro P, Wark P, 'Innate Immunity in the Airways to Respiratory Viruses', Virology II - Advanced Issues, iConcept Press Ltd, Worldwide 1-32 (2014)

Journal article (6 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2014Parsons KS, Hsu AC, Wark PAB, 'TLR3 and MDA5 signalling, although not expression, is impaired in asthmatic epithelial cells in response to rhinovirus infection.', CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL ALLERGY, 44 91-101 (2014)
2014Fathi F, Hsu A, Parsons K, Keely S, Wood L, Wark P, 'OXIDATIVE STRESS IMPAIRS MITOCHONDRIAL FUNCTION AND LEADS TO DEFICIENT ANTIVIRAL RESPONSES IN PRIMARY BRONCHIAL EPITHELIAL CELLS', RESPIROLOGY, 19 14-14 (2014)
2013Baines KJ, Hsu AC-Y, Tooze M, Gunawardhana LP, Gibson PG, Wark PAB, 'Novel immune genes associated with excessive inflammatory and antiviral responses to rhinovirus in COPD', RESPIRATORY RESEARCH, 14 (2013) [C1]
2012Hsu A, Parsons KS, Barr I, Lowther S, Middleton D, Hansbro PM, Wark PA, 'Critical role of constitutive type I interferon response in bronchial epithelial cell to influenza infection', PLoS One, 7 e32947 (2012) [C1]
2012Hsu A, See HV, Hansbro PM, Wark PA, 'Innate immunity to influenza in chronic airways diseases', Respirology, 17 1166-1175 (2012) [C1]
2011Hsu A, Barr I, Hansbro PM, Wark PA, 'Human influenza is more effective than Avian influenza at antiviral suppression in airway cells', American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, 44 906-913 (2011) [C1]
Show 3 more

Conference (13 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2014Starkey M, Hanish I, Dua K, Nair P, Haw T, Hsu A, et al., 'Interleukin-13 predisposes mice to more severe influenza infection by suppressing interferon responses and activating microRNA-21/PI3K', CYTOKINE, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA (2014)
2014Hsu A, Parsons K, Hansbro P, Wark P, Wark P, 'IMPAIRED FORMATION OF ANTIVIRAL STRESS GRANULE AND INTERFERON-BETA ENHANCEOSOME LEADS TO REDUCED ANTIVIRAL RESPONSES TO INFLUENZA IN CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE', RESPIROLOGY (2014)
2014Hsu A, Parsons K, Hansbro P, Wark P, 'Enhanced PI3K activity leads to decreased IFN-beta response to influenza infection in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease', CYTOKINE, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA (2014)
2014Hsu A, Parsons K, Fujita T, Hansbro P, Wark P, 'Critical role of PKR in antiviral stress granule and IFN-beta enhanceosome formation, and is impaired in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease', CYTOKINE, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA (2014)
2013Baines KJ, Simpson JL, Mcdonald VM, Hsu AC, Gibson PG, 'DIFFERENTIAL AIRWAY GENE EXPRESSION IN COPD', RESPIROLOGY (2013) [E3]
2012Hsu A, Parsons KS, Barr I, Hansbro PM, Wark PA, 'Deficient antiviral responses to influenza in primary bronchial epithelial cells of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease', Respirology, Canberra, ACT (2012) [E3]
2012Wark PA, Tooze MK, Hsu A, Parsons KS, 'Silencing of MDA5 and TLR3 does not reduce innate immune responses to rhinovirus in defective asthmatic bronchial epithelial cells', Respirology, Canberra, ACT (2012) [E3]

Co-authors: Peter Wark

2011Parsons KS, Tooze MK, Hsu A, Wark PA, 'Oxidative stress induces mitochondrial dusfunction in airway epithelial cells and impairs response to rhinovirus', Respirology, Perth, WA (2011) [E3]

Co-authors: Peter Wark

2011Wark PA, Parsons KS, Tooze MK, Hsu A, 'MDA5 is crucial inhibiting rhinovirus replication in primary bronchial epithelial cells', Respirology, Perth, WA (2011) [E3]

Co-authors: Peter Wark

2009Hsu A, Hansbro PM, Barr I, Wark PA, 'Innate immune response of bronchial epithelial cells to human and avian influenza virus', Respirology, Darwin, NT (2009) [E3]
2009Wark PA, Hsu A, Hansbro PM, 'Innate immune response of bronchial epithelial cells to infection with influenza', Journal of Immunology, Seattle, WASH. (2009) [E3]
2008Hsu A, Hansbro PM, Wark PA, 'Innate immune response of bronchial epithelial cells to human and avian influenza virus', The 4th Congress of the Federation of Immunology Societies of Asia-Oceania: Conference Program, Taipei, Taiwan (2008) [E3]
2008Hsu A, Grissell TV, Wark PA, 'Distribution of SAa2,6GAL and SAa2,3GAL linked receptors in human respiratory tract and influenza virus replication', Respirology, Melbourne, VIC (2008) [E3]
Show 10 more
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants8
Total funding$160,132

- Indicates that the researcher may be seeking students for this project.

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

2014 (1 grants)

Mechanisms of dysregulated antiviral signallings to influenza infection in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease$27,512
Funding Body: John Hunter Hospital Charitable Trust Fund

Project Team
Doctor Alan Hsu, Doctor Fatemeh Moheimani, Professor Darryl Knight, Conjoint Professor Peter Wark
SchemeRole
Research GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$27,51220142014
GNo:G1400435

2013 (6 grants)

BD FACSCanto II Violet Laser (405nm) upgrade including Trigon and 2 photomultiplier tubes (PMTs)$25,000
Funding Body: NHMRC (National Health & Medical Research Council)

Project Team
Conjoint Professor Peter Wark, Doctor Alan Hsu, Doctor Katie Baines, Associate Professor Jodie Simpson, Conjoint Professor Peter Gibson, Ms Hayley See
SchemeRole
Equipment GrantInvestigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$25,00020132013
GNo:G1201180

Mechanisms of impaired antiviral interferon response to influenza infection in primary bronchial epithelial cells from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease$23,810
Funding Body: John Hunter Hospital Charitable Trust Fund

SchemeRole
Research GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$23,81020132014
GNo:183140344

Mechanisms of impaired antiviral interferon response to influenza infection in primary bronchial epithelial cells from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease$23,810
Funding Body: John Hunter Hospital Charitable Trust Fund

Project Team
Doctor Alan Hsu, Conjoint Professor Peter Wark
SchemeRole
Research GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$23,81020132013
GNo:G1300711

DP73 Digital colour and monochrome camera + cellSens software + Xcite120 fluorescence lamp illuminator$20,000
Funding Body: NHMRC (National Health & Medical Research Council)

Project Team
Professor Paul Foster, Doctor Alan Hsu, Professor Phil Hansbro, Professor Joerg Mattes, Doctor Katie Baines, Associate Professor Jodie Simpson, Professor Rakesh Kumar, Doctor Nicole Hansbro, Doctor Steven Maltby, Doctor Ming Yang, Doctor Gerard Kaiko, Doctor Jay Horvat, Doctor Simon Keely, Doctor Andrew Jarnicki, Doctor Michael Fricker
SchemeRole
Equipment GrantInvestigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$20,00020132013
GNo:G1201186

Mechanisms of increased respiratory viral entry into primary bronchial epithelial cells from people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease$10,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Alan Hsu
SchemeRole
Early Career Researcher GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$10,00020132013
GNo:G1300661

Role of the transcriptional co-activator p300 in resetting epithelial differentiation: A potential pathway involved in asthma prevention and therapy$10,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Fatemeh Moheimani, Professor Darryl Knight, Miss Kirsty Wark, Doctor Alan Hsu, Mr Malcolm Starkey
SchemeRole
Early Career Researcher GrantInvestigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$10,00020132013
GNo:G1301174

2012 (1 grants)

Molecular mechanism of high susceptibility to influenza infection in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease$20,000
Funding Body: John Hunter Hospital Charitable Trust Fund

SchemeRole
Research GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$20,00020122013
GNo:176711550
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Research Supervision

Number of current supervisions1
Total current UoN PhD EFTSL0.4

For supervisions undertaken at an institution other that the University of Newcastle, the institution name is listed below the program name.

Current Supervision

CommencedProposed
Completion
ProgramSupervisor TypeResearch Title
20132017PhD (Medicine)Co-SupervisorThe Role of the PI3K Signalling Pathway in the Innate Antiviral Response of Airway Epithelial Cells
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Dr Alan Hsu

Work Phone(02) 4042 0109
Fax(02) 4042 0022
Email
PositionLaboratory Manager - HMRI
Centre for Asthma and Respiratory Diseases
School of Medicine and Public Health
Faculty of Health and Medicine
The University of Newcastle, Australia
Focus AreaImmunology and Microbiology
Office
RM 2109,
Level 2, West Wing, Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI),
Lot 1, Kookaburra Circuit, New Lambton Height, NSW 2305.
URL:www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/alan-hsu