Rachel Tham

The contribution of outdoor fungal spores to asthma exacerbations, lung function and airway inflammation in children and adolescents

R.Tham photo

Supervisors: A/Prof Bircan Erbas, Prof Shyamali Dharmage, and Dr Adrian Lowe

Asthma exacerbation is major cause of child and adolescent asthma hospitalisations. Some fungal spores can trigger severe asthma exacerbation, but knowledge of which outdoor fungal spores taxa contribute asthma hospitalisations in Australia is limited. My PhD is investigating the associations between outdoor fungal spores and asthma hospitalisations, lung function and airway inflammation in children and adolescents. I am examining whether age, sex, respiratory infections, air pollutants or grass pollen modifies any associations.

PhD Scholarship and funding body:
- National Health and Medical Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship APP1055754
- Centre for Air Quality and Health Research and Evaluation (CAR) – a NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence Top-up Scholarship “The contribution of outdoor fungi, air pollution and respiratory viruses on child asthma hospitalisations.”