Other Research - Respiratory Research Unit

Respiratory Research Unit

The Respiratory Research Unit is focused on research into pulmonary nontuberculous mycobacterial infections and bronchiectasis. Both conditions are closed related and are increasing in prevalence in Queensland.

Nontuberculous mycobacteria are environmental pathogens and are a cause of chronic lung disease. These can infect patients with pre-existing bronchiectasis and can cause progressive bronchiectasis in otherwise apparently healthy people.

Our projects

Innate Immunity

In conjunction with the Thoracic Research group at Prince Charles Hospital and collaborators at the University of WA in separate projects, we are investigating why apparently healthy people develop lung disease due to NTM. As the organisms are in the environment and we are all exposed to them – what is about the immune system of some patients that puts them at risk of disease?

Epidemiology

With the School of Population Health we are currently investigating the distribution of NTM disease throughout QLD and relationships with environmental factors such as rainfall, temperature, and relative humidity.

Strain typing of M. kansasii

Carla Tolson (Masters Project, QUT) is comparing various strain typing techniques for M. kansasii and comparing the strains identified over the last 10 years. Environmental and human strains will be compared.

Whole genome sequencing of M. abscessus isolates

in collaboration with the University of Cambridge.

The significance of M. abscessus in Cystic Fibrosis

Dr Amy Reynolds, Assoc Prof Scott Bell (TPCH), Dr Rachel Thomson.

Outcomes of M. abscessus infections in QLD

Dr Michael Holt, Dr Andrew Burke, Dr Rachel Thomson

Experience with Clofazimine in treatment of NTM infections

Dr Michael Trotter, Dr Andrew Burke, Dr Rachel Thomson in conjunction with the NTM-net.

Experience with Amikacin in treatment of NTM infections in QLD

Dr Claire Ellender (PAH), Dr Geoff Eather (PAH), Dr Rachel Thomson

Our team

Led by Dr Rachel Thomson, our group consists of a number of researchers across different disciplines, working together to collaboratively investigate different aspects of NTM disease.

Queensland Mycobacterial Reference Laboratory

Scientists: Carla Tolson, Robyn Carter
Infectious Diseases Physician and Laboratory Director: Dr Chris Coulter

Queensland University of Technology

Associate Professor Flavia Huygens
Adjunct Associate Professor Megan Hargreaves

The Prince Charles Hospital, Thoracic Research Laboratory

Associate Professor Ian Yang
Associate Professor Scott Bell
Dr Andrew Burke

Collaborators

University of Queensland, School of Population Health

Archie Clements, Associate Professor in Infectious Diseases

University of Western Australia

Professor Patricia Price
Associate Professor Grant Waterer

University of Cambridge, UK

Dr Andres Floto
Principal Investigator & Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow
Cambridge Institute for Medical Research

Princess Alexandra Hospital Respiratory Department

Dr Geoff Eather
Dr Claire Ellender

University of Queensland, School of Population Health

Archie Clements, Associate Professor in Infectious Diseases

Publications

Rachel Thomson, Carla Tolson, Robyn Carter, Flavia Huygens, and Megan Hargreaves. Factors associated with the isolation of Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) from a large municipal water system in Brisbane, Australia. BMC Microbiology 2013, 13; 89

Rachel Thomson, Carla Tolson, Flavia Huygens, Megan Hargreaves Mycobacterium abscessus in potable water – a potential source of human infection. BMC Infectious Diseases 2013; 13; 241

W. Hoefsloot, J. van Ingen*, C. Andrejak, K. Ängeby, R. Bauriaud, P. Bemer, M.J. Boeree, J. Cacho , E. Chimara, R. Cias, R. Dasa, P.N.R. Dekhuijzen, D. Domingo, F. Drobniewski, J. Esteban, M. Fauville-Dufaux, D.B. Folkvardsen, N. Gibbons, E. Gómez-Mampaso , R. Gonzalez , H. Hoffmann, P.R. Hsueh, A. Indra, T. Jagielski, F. Jamieson, M. Jankovic, J. Keane, W.J. Koh, S. Leao, R. Macedo, T. Mannsåker, T. Marras, J. Maugein, H. Milburn, T. Mlinkó, N. Morcillo, K. Morimoto, D. Papaventis, E. Palenque, M. Paez-Peña, C. Piersimoni, M. Polanová, N. Rastogi, E. Richter, M.J. Ruiz-Serrano, A. Silva, H. Simsek, D. van Soolingen, N. Szabó, R. Thomson, M.T. Tórtola Fernandez, E. Tortoli, S.E. Totten, G. Tyrrell, T. Vasankari, M. Villar, R. Walkiewicz, K. Winthrop, D. Wagner for NTM-NET. A snapshot of the geographic diversity of nontuberculous mycobacteria isolated from pulmonary samples: An NTM-net collaborative study. European Respiratory Journal April 18,2013 (epub ahead of print)

Henry Marshall, Robyn Carter, Matthew Torbey, Sharri Minion, Carla Tolson, Flavia Huygens, Megan Hargreaves, Rachel Thomson. Mycobacterium lentiflavum in drinking water supplies, Australia. Emerging Infectious Diseases 2011; 17(3):395-402

Rachel Thomson. The changing epidemiology of Pulmonary Nontuberculous mycobacterial infections. Emerging Infectious Diseases 2010; 16:1576-83

Miriam Grech, Robyn Carter, Rachel Thomson. Clinical significance of Mycobacterium asiaticum isolates in Queensland, Australia. J Clin Micro 2010;48:162-167

Rachel Thomson, W.-W. Yew. When and how to treat pulmonary non-tuberculous mycobacterial diseases. Respirology 2009; 14(1):12-26. (Top 10 article for 2009)

Rachel Thomson, Robyn Carter, Chris Gilpin, Chris Coulter, and Megan Hargreaves. A Comparison of Methods for Processing Drinking Water Samples for the Isolation of Mycobacterium avium and intracellulare. Appl. Environ. Microbiol.2008:74;3094-3098

Rachel M Thomson, John G Armstrong, David F Looke. Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), acid suppression and Mycobacterium Avium Complex (MAC) Pulmonary Disease. Chest 2007;131;1166-1172 IF 4.008

Abstracts and Presentations

Carla Tolson, Rachel Thomson, Flavia Huygens. Genotyping of M. kansasii: comparing human and environmental isolates. American Society of Microbiology scientific meeting, Denver 2013

Rachel Thomson, Carla Tolson, Robyn Carter, Chris Coulter, Flavia Huygens, and Megan Hargreaves. Pathogenic Nontuberculous Mycobacteria In The Brisbane Potable Water Distribution System. Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med., May 2011; 183: A2395.

Henry Marshall, Robyn Carter, Matthew Torbey, Sharri Minion, Carla Tolson, Flavia Huygens, Megan Hargreaves, Rachel Thomson. Mycobacterium lentiflavum in drinking water supplies, Australia. European Respiratory Society Barcelona, Spain 2010. Poster Presentation.

M Grech, RM Thomson. Mycobacterium asiaticum Disease in Queensland, Australia.Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med., Apr 2009; 179: A5271. American Thoracic Society San Diego 2009.

RM Thomson, DFM Looke, A Konstantinos. Five year follow-up of Pulmonary Mycobacterium Avium-Intracellulare Complex (MAC) Disease in Queensland (QLD), Australia. American Thoracic Society San Diego 2005 Poster presentation.

RM Thomson, DFM Looke, A Konstantinos. Clinical features and Five year follow-up of Pulmonary Mycobacterium Avium-Intracellulare Complex (MAC) Disease in Queensland (QLD), Australia. Respirology Mar 2005;10:80. Proceedings TSANZ Perth 2005.

RM Thomson, DFM Looke, A Konstantinos. Significance of Pulmonary Mycobacterial Isolates in Queensland. Respirology Mar 2005;10:A21. Proceedings TSANZ Perth 2005

RM Thomson, DFM Looke. Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease, Acid Suppression and Pulmonary Mycobacterium Avium Complex Disease. 2001 Respirology. Poster presentation TSANZ – Best Poster TB & Infectious Diseases SIG. Poster Presentation ASID 2001 – finalist best poster.

RM Thomson, DFM Looke. Mycobacterium Avium Complex Pulmonary Disease in QLD in 1999. 2001 Respirology. Poster Presentation at the TSANZ (Best Poster Award Infectious Diseases SIG) and ASID conferences 1999.

RM Thomson, JG Armstrong, DFM Looke. Mycobacterium kansasii in QLD: 1988-99. Oral presentation at TSANZ Annual Scientific Meeting April 2000

How to contact us

Research

Dr Rachel Thomson
Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation
Greenslopes Private Hospital
Newdegate Street
GREENSLOPES QLD 4120

Phone: (07) 3847 8890
Email: R.Thomson@uq.edu.au

Patient referrals

Pulmedica, Greenslopes Private Hospital
Newdegate Street, Greenslopes, QLD 4120

Phone: (07) 3847 8890
Fax: (07) 3847 8891
Email: admin@pulmedica.com.au

The Prince Charles Hospital, Thoracic Medicine

Mycobacterial Diseases Clinic
Dr Rachel Thomson, Dr Chris Coulter, Dr Andrew Burke

Phone: (07) 3139 5285
Fax: (07) 3139 5067
Email: lianne_cullen@health.qld.gov.au

Metropolitan South Tuberculosis Service

Dr Rachel Thomson

Phone: (07) 3176 4141
Fax: (07) 3176 4194

Other Research - Ophthalmology Research Unit

The Ophthalmology Research Unit is a translational research group dedicated to the prevention and treatment of blinding and fatal diseases of the eye.

Discovery focuses of the Unit cover the full range of retinal conditions, and include diabetic retinopathy, photoreceptor metabolism and macular degeneration, choroidal melanoma and the function of retinal neural trophic factors. The unit’s bench to bedside approach includes extensive use of next generation sequencing, flow cytometry, high throughput arrays, ocular electrophysiology and clinical trials.

The development of clinical and research students and trainees through dedicated on site supervision is a priority, and is a specialty of the unit.

Our projects

The Ophthalmology Research Unit is a translational research group dedicated to the prevention and treatment of blinding and fatal diseases of the eye.

Discovery focuses of the Unit cover the full range of retinal conditions, and include diabetic retinopathy, photoreceptor metabolism and macular degeneration, choroidal melanoma and the function of retinal neural trophic factors. The unit’s bench to bedside approach includes extensive use of next generation sequencing, flow cytometry, high throughput arrays, ocular electrophysiology and clinical trials.

The development of clinical and research students and trainees through dedicated on site supervision is a priority, and is a specialty of the unit.

 Ophthalmology - View our Publications

 

Our team

Chris Layton

Associate Professor Christopher Layton

A/Professor Layton is a prominent Australian medical retina specialist with a record of distinguished achievement and contribution in both clinical and research ophthalmology. He is a Rhodes Scholar, was trained in research ophthalmology at the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology at Oxford University and is now the Director of the Ophthalmology Unit at the Gallipoli Medical Research Institute.

A/Professor Layton is lead investigator for multiple clinical trials and discovery projects in diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration, and is the founder and head of the Australian Diabetic Retinopathy Biobank. He presents on both clinical and research topics internationally and has received several international awards for his work in ophthalmology.

A/Professor Layton contributes to the community as the current Chairman of the Layton Vision Foundation, a charity dedicated to translating eye research and access to ophthalmic services in the Pacific Islands.

Please click here to read A/Professor Layton's profile with the University of Queensland.

Charmaine Ramlogan-Steel

Charmaine A. Ramlogan-Steel

Charmaine obtained her medical degree at the American International School of Medicine in Georgetown, Guyana. Following medical school, she spent 2 years undergoing postdoctoral training in cancer immunology at the National Cancer Institute, USA working under Professor John Morris, where she worked on the development and testing of new vaccines in mice and humans.

In 2010 she moved to the University Of Cincinnati College Of Medicine as a post-doctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Professor George Atweh where she examined the role of Stathmin in blood formation for three years. On moving to Australia, Charmaine has been involved in the research at the Liver Cancer Research unit at GMRF. Charmaine is currently an Honorary Research Fellow with the Ophthalmology Research Unit at GMRF under Assoc. Prof. Chris Layton where she is working on all things eyes

Amanda Goh

Amanda Goh

Amanda is a 3rd year medical student at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, and is currently undertaking her medical training at Greenslopes Private Hospital. She received the Alexander and Elizabeth Raff Memorial Scholarship in 2015 and is currently a University of Queensland Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship and University of Queensland Research Scholarship recipient. Under the supervision of A/Professor Christopher Layton, she has completed a literature review on the evolving systemic treatments for choroidal melanoma and is undertaking a Masters degree in the genetic mutations related to early death in choroidal melanoma.

Sean Jenkins

Sean Jenkins

Sean is a postdoctorate clinical researcher in the Ophthalmology Research Unit at the Gallipoli Medical Research Institute. Sean has trained in scientific approaches to medical problems in Canada and Australia, and completed a science degree with honours at the University of Toronto and a Masters of Health Economics at the University of Queensland. Sean completed his medical degree at the University of Queensland and has undergone 3 years of postgraduate clinical training at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane.

Sean has presented at multiple conferences on his interests of ocular disease, blindness prevention and public health and is currently pursuing a program of clinical trials designed to elucidate and define the parameters of diabetic retinal neuropathy and to assess the effect of a series of therapeutic interventions on the development of diabetes induced blindness. Sean is also instrumental in the establishment and ongoing specimen processing of the Australian Diabetic Retinopathy Biobank based at the Institute. Sean has been previously based at the Centre of National Research on Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine (CONROD) at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, and the Mater Medical Research Institute (MMRI-UQ), and continues to apply his expertise in public health and health economics in his work towards blindness prevention.

Slawomir Andrzejewski

Slawomir Andrzejewski

Slawomir is a firstt year PhD candidate at the University of Queensland. He obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biomedical Science at Middlesex University in London, UK, where he devoted his dissertation project on cancer research. Later, he has been awarded the degree of Master of Science in Cell and Gene Therapy from University College London, UK. During his Masters project, together with researchers from the Institute of Ophthalmology he has worked on optimisation of adeno-associated viral vector for ocular congenital diseases. Prior to joining GMRF, Slawomir completed a work placement at Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland, where he researched target genes for muscular dystrophy.  Now, thanks to Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation's PhD Scholarship Program and a UQ tuition scholarship, he has joined the Ophthalmology Research Unit where he combines his prior experience to apply a gene therapy for ocular diseases such as Diabetic Retinopathy and Uveal Melanoma.

Aparna Murali

Aparna Murali

Aparna completed her Bachelor of Technology in Biotechnology and Master of Science in Genomics in India. She joined the Ophthalmology Research Unit in January 2017 for her PhD under the guidance of Dr. Chris Layton. Her work focusses on diagnostic and therapeutic aspects of diabetic retinal neuropathy and diabetic retinopathy. She is currently developing primary human cell culture models for diabetic retinal neuropathy.

Projects for students

Current available projects include:

  1. The role of insulin in retinal neuronal survival in diabetic conditions
  2. The role of EPO in retinal neuronal survival in diabetic conditions
  3. Genetic defects in Stargardt’s Disease
  4. Development of a human cell culture model of diabetic retinal neuropathy
  5. Australian epidemiology of uveal melanoma
  6. Molecular prognostic markers in uveal melanoma
  7. Quantifying human functional markers of diabetic retinal neuropathy
  8. The effect of previous EPO treatment on functional markers of diabetic retinal neuropathy in humans
  9. Circulating miRNA makers of diabetic retinopathy
  10. Examination of the use of survival statistics in ophthalmology
  11. Establishment of the Australian Diabetic Retinopathy Biobank

Please contact A/Professor Layton for further details.

Projects for students

CJ Layton, CS Kawai, G de Moraes, K Jenkins, AY Goh. Effects of erythropoietin on glucose induced exacerbation of hypoxic damage in cultured photoreceptor-like cells.
 Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 57 (12), 3228-3228

KS Jenkins, C Layton (2016) Systematic Assessment of clinical methods to diagnose and monitor diabetic retinal neuropathy. Acta Ophthalmologica 94:10 S256 doi:/
 10.1111/j.1755-3768.2016.0565

De Moraes G, Layton CJ (2016) Therapeutic targeting of diabetic retinal neuropathy as a strategy in preventing diabetic retinopathy. Clin Exp Ophthal doi: 10.1111/ceo.12795

Jenkins KS, Layton CJ (2016) An eye for art? A challenge of ophthalmic body modification Clin Exp Ophthal doi 10.1111/ceo.12758

Kawai C, Adams M, Jenkins KS (2016). A novel ABCA4 mutation associated with a late-onset Stargardt's disease phenotype: A hypomorphic allelle? (submitted)

Jenkins KS (2015) A case of external ophthalmomysis caused by Oestrus Ovis in a 20 year old backpacker. Clin Exp Ophthal 41:S1 91-91

Layton CJ (2015). Decoupling of cellular reducing equivalents and cell survival in in vitro models of diabetic retinal neuropathy. BMJ Ophthalmology 15:175 doi:10.1186/s12886-015-0164-2

Goh, A, Layton CJ (2015) Evolving systemic targeted therapy strategies in uveal melanoma and implications for ophthalmic management. Clin Exp Ophthal doi: 10.111/ceo.12688

Lim PC, Layton CJ. (2015) Prognostic implications of imaging in atrophic macular degeneration and its use in clinical practice and clinical trial design. Clin Exp Ophthal. doi: 10.1111/ ceo.12671

De Moraes G, Layton CJ (2015), The effect of glucose and insulin on the susceptibility of cultured photoreceptor-like cells to hypoxia. Acta Ophthalmologica, 93 doi: 10.1111/j.1755-3768.2015.0711

Hsu CL, Layton CJ. (2015) Familial Disorders of the Optic Disc: Presentation of a Mother and Daughter and Review of the Literature. Case Rep Ophthalmol 66(2) 251-259

Layton CJ (2014), Factors associated with significant ocular injury in conservatively treated orbital fractures. J Ophthalmology Vol 2014, ID 412397

Layton CJ, Safa R, Osborne NN. (2007) Partial masking of the b-wave by oscillatory potentials in dark adaptation and diabetes Graefe Arch. Clin Exp Ophthal 245(9) 1335-45

Layton CJ, Becker S, Osborne NN. (2006) The effect of insulin and glucose levels on retinal glial cell activation and pigment epithelium-derived fibroblast growth factor-2. Mol Vis 12:46-54.

Turner AW, Layton CJ, Bron AJ. (2005) Survey of eye practitioners' attitudes towards diagnostic tests and therapies for dry eye disease. Clin Exper Ophthal 33(4) 351-5.

Layton CJ, Chidlow G, Wood JPM, Osborne NN. (2005). Neuronal death in primary retinal cultures is related to nitric oxide production, and is inhibited by erythropoietin in a glucose-sensitive manner. . Neurochem 92(3):487-93

Layton CJ, Chidlow G, Casson RJ, Wood JPM, Osborne NN. (2005) Monocarboxylate transporter expression remains unchanged during the development of diabetic retinal neuropathy. Invest Ophthal Vis Sci 46(8): 2878-85

Osborne NN, Chidlow G, Layton CJ, Wood JPM, Casson RJ, Melena J. (2004). Optic nerve neuroprotection strategies. Eye 18(11):1075-84.

Layton CJ, Osborne NN. (2004). FGF-2 in the retina and retinal pigment epithelium in diabetes. International Conference of Eye Research (ICER), Sydney.

Layton CJ (2004) Neuronal death in primary retinal cultures is related to nitric oxide production, and is inhibited by erythropoietin in a glucose-sensitive manner. ARVO, Fort Lauderdale.

Layton CJ, Wood JPM, Chidlow G, Osborne NN. (2003). Monocarboxylate transporter expression correlated to changes in the diabetic retina. European Vision and Eye Research Conference (EVER), Alicante.

Wood JPM, Layton CJ, Osborne NN (2003). Monocarboxylate transporter expression in the eye. ARVO, Fort Lauderdale.

Layton CJ, Wood JPM, Bron AJ, Osborne NN (2003) Monocarboxylate transporters appear not to contribute to diabetic retinal neuropathy. Ophthalmic Research 35:50.

Hundal KS, Casson R, Layton CJ, Armour R, Voon LW, Bron AJ (2003) A study of perceived image quality using a low cost home-made lensless ophthalmoscope versus a standard direct ophthalmoscope. Ophthalmic Research 35:48

Turner AW, Layton, CJ, Bron AJ (2003) Survey of ophthalmologist and optometrist attitudes to dry eye and preferred tests for its diagnosis. Ophthalmic Research 35:28

Armour R, Hundai K, Layton CJ, Bron AJ. (2003). Performance of a 2 dollar direct ophthalmoscope in the hands of medical students: Applications in the third world. Oxford Ophthalmological Congress, UK

Layton CJ, Glasson W. (2002) Clinical Aspects of Conjunctival Melanoma. Clin Experiment Ophthal 30(2):72-9.

How to contact us

Research

A/Professor Christopher Layton

Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation
Greenslopes Private Hospital
Newdegate Street
GREENSLOPES QLD 4120

Phone: (07) 3394 7284
Fax: (07) 3394 7767
Email: c.layton@uq.edu.au

Clinical and Referrals

A/Professor Christopher Layton

Greenslopes Spciality Clinics
Greenslopes Private Hospital
Newdegate Street
GREENSLOPES QLD 4120

Phone: (07) 3398 9494
Fax: (07) 3319 6649
Email: reception@southerneyesurgery.com.au
Website: www.ophthalmologistbrisbane.com.au