Inaugural Laurent research fellows announced - Institute for Respiratory Health

Inaugural Laurent research fellows announced

Friday, October 06, 2023 | News

The Laurent Fellowship for Respiratory Health, in partnership with the Institute for Respiratory Health, The University of Western Australia and University College London, are delighted to announce the selection of three exceptional Western Australian researchers for inaugural research fellowships. Their projects focus on idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and asthma.

The highly competitive Fellowship named in memory of the esteemed Perth respiratory researcher Professor Geoff Laurent is a tribute to his unwavering commitment to meaningful research, knowledge exchange and academic collaborations.

It aims to inspire the next generation of researchers to push the boundaries of respiratory research. This year’s inaugural research fellows are:

  • Associate Professor Cecilia Prêle – senior Laurent fellowship recipient. She is an experienced cell and molecular biologist who originally trained at University College London (UCL). Her research focuses on IPF, a progressive and often fatal lung disease characterised by scarring of lung tissue. She will have the opportunity to explore fibroblast diversity in new and innovative ways, particularly from a metabolic perspective.
  • Dr Kimberley Wang – senior Laurent fellowship recipient is looking forward to gaining fresh insights and cross-disciplinary thinking that can help enrich her research in the asthma arena to help the 2.7 million Australians with the disease.
  • Dr Tylah Miles – junior Laurent fellowship recipient. Dr Miles who is supervised by Associate Professor Prele, will also be focusing on IPF research. She plans to investigate the differences between scar tissue-producing cells isolated from areas of normal and disease tissue.

All research fellows will travel to University College London (UCL) and will collaborate with Professor Rachel Chambers, Vice-Dean for the Faculty of Medical Sciences.

Dr Miles said, “I’m very grateful and excited to be part of Professor Laurent’s legacy. The Fellowship will enable me to learn a range of new techniques and help to further my research to hopefully help those with IPF.

“I can’t wait to work with some of the brightest minds in the respiratory field and be mentored by Professor Chambers.

“I’m also looking forward to travelling to the UK and networking with other professionals in the arena, which will all help me grow as a researcher.”

Emeritus Professor Geoff Stewart, director of the Institute for Respiratory Health and a close colleague and friend of the late Geoff Laurent, said, “The Laurent Fellowship is a fitting way to honour Geoff’s memory.

“He was a big supporter of cross-collaboration between researchers and universities – knowing that diversity of ideas can lead to innovative solutions and breakthroughs.

“He’d be smiling knowing his legacy is helping researchers to push the boundaries of respiratory research to help find cures for lung conditions, like IPF and asthma.”

The Laurent Fellowships for Respiratory Health are awarded annually. For more information visit –

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