Allergy and Lung Health

Research Overview

The Allergy and Lung Health Unit is internationally recognised for conducting research into the genetic, molecular and environmental epidemiology of allergies, asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). These interrelated diseases are major public health issues, with asthma being a National Health Priority in Australia. Our focus is to identify the causes of these conditions and how best to prevent them.

Core to our research program are two large longitudinal studies spanning the life course, the Tasmanian Longitudinal Health Study (TAHS) and the Melbourne Atopy Cohort Study   (MACS). Both studies are funded by National Health & Medical Research Council. The Unit currently includes six research fellows, a large number of higher degree research students, and excellent research support staff. We collaborate in multiple projects in the field, including local studies such as HealthNuts based at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and international studies such as the European Community Respiratory Health Survey, the largest international study of adult asthma.

We collaborate with several world renowned research institutes nationally and internationally, including the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, the University of Tasmania, Monash University, Imperial College (UK), German Research Centre for Environmental Health, the University of Bergen in Norway and Boston University (USA).

We have a strong publication track record including articles in Lancet, BMJ and Nature Genetics. Our findings have informed both policy and practice such as infant feeding guidelines, diagnostic algorhythms and air quality guidelines.


Professor Shyamali Dharmage (Unit Head)

Rana Abouelenein

Nadine Bertalli

Gayan Bowatte

Sarah-Jane Brighthope

Dr John Burgess

Brittany Campbell

Robyn Cameron

David Clark

Tamaia Dandeniya

Alice Doherty

Alex Fidao

Dr Nur Sabrina Idrose

Sonia Kaushik

Caroline Lodge

Dr Adrian Lowe

Tom McCrabb

Samidi Navarathna

Tescha Nicholls

Shaie O'Brien

Diego Lopez Peralta

Dr Jennifer Perrett

Dr Melissa Russell

Dr Chamara Senaratna

Don Vicendese

Nilakshi Waidyatillake

Jingwen Zhang

Honorary Staff

Dr Bircan Erbas

Professor Joachim Heinrich

Dr Jennifer Koplin (Murdoch Childrens Research Institute)

Dr Melanie Matheson (Telstra Health)

Cosetta Minelli

Rachel Tham

Professor Haydn Walters