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Bench to bedside to community: new interventions against childhood respiratory conditions – Community Conversation


Does your child suffer from frequent chesty cough, have asthma or has been admitted to hospital with a lung infection? If yes, we would like to hear from your lived experience about paediatric respiratory conditions at this Community Conversation.

Bacteria and viruses in our noses have a profound impact on the health of our lungs, particularly in the early years of life. Prof. Mark Nicol and his research team at the University of Western Australia study these bacteria and viruses of the nose in children to understand how some “friendly” microbes can be used to protect your child from these lung conditions.

Respiratory infections, such as pneumonia or bronchiolitis, are the largest killer of children under the age of five years, globally, and chronic respiratory conditions, such as asthma are very common in Western Australia.

The vision is to develop probiotic therapies using these friendly bacteria so we can reduce the use of antibiotics in young children, and the risk and severity of asthma. We want to discuss our research and hear from your lived experience how to develop a sturdy groundwork and develop consumer acceptable solutions. Since the research aims at developing a probiotic therapy (potentially as a nasal spray) in children, the community conversation will help us to understand how acceptable such a therapy would be to parents and children and to design our solution to meet your needs and preferences. For example, the suggestion to grow our probiotic strains in media free of animal-derived products came up during a conversation with a research buddy. This has since been incorporated in our workflow.

We believe that the community conversation will allow us to think beyond our immediate scientific research goals and design objectives that enhance the consumer acceptance of the final product. The feedback from the community conversation will be used to design objectives and associated research methods for the NHMRC Ideas grant in 2025.

A $70 honorarium is offered to attendees and light refreshments will be provided.

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