Grant funding to help thousands of people each year avoid pleurisy - Institute for Respiratory Health

Grant funding to help thousands of people each year avoid pleurisy

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 | Research
Professor Gary Lee, Head of the Pleural Medicine Group

The Pleural Medicine Group was recently awarded an Australian Respiratory Council Research Support Grant for a project designed to help understand how bacteria migrate from the lungs to the pleural cavity to cause pleurisy.

The pleural cavity is the space surrounding the lungs that helps reduce friction as they expand and contract with breathing. Unfortunately, pleural infection is a common and increasing problem that affects thousands of patients each year, particularly the elderly, children and people with a compromised immune system.

Professor Gary Lee, Head of the Institute’s Pleural Medicine Group and a respiratory specialist at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, is an internationally renowned clinical academic in pleural research and will lead the project.

“Pneumococci are bacteria that commonly cause pneumonia and pleurisy, resulting in significant morbidity and mortality. Research has shown that once these bacteria migrate from the lung to the chest cavity, they quickly multiply and contribute to sepsis”.

Professor Gary Lee

The Pleural Medicine Group will use mutated bacteria and laboratory models to investigate the bacterial and host factors that allow pneumococcal infiltration into the pleural cavity, with the principle aim of developing strategies to help impede this process and, thus, lung disease.

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