Asthma Australia’s vision for research is to invest in progressive approaches to make, translate, and implement new discoveries that improve the lives of people with asthma. You can view our Research Strategy here.

We have convened a Research Advisory Committee to ensure our research program has maximum impact.

The purpose of the Research Advisory Committee is to support Asthma Australia to best execute its responsibilities and opportunities with respect to the research program. The committee will also contribute to the program’s strategic growth and development. We have taken a deliberate approach to form the committee including research, clinical, and scientific experts as well as people with lived experience from across Australia.

Our expert staff and valued volunteers are leaders in their field and foster local and international collaborations.


Anthony Flynn

Director – Health Knowledge and Translation

Anthony is the Director of Health Knowledge and Translation at Asthma Australia. In this role he oversees Asthma Australia’s research program, strategic evaluation plans and supervises the quality development of consumer information and education resources. Anthony has a Masters Degree in Social Sciences and is a registered nurse who specialised in critical care nursing. He is responsible for connecting the need of the person with asthma with strategic research and evaluation decisions and the translation of these into consumer benefit.
Rose Bell

Research and Evaluation Coordinator

Rose Bell is Asthma Australia’s Research, Information and Evaluation Coordinator and is responsible for coordination of the Research Program which includes overseeing progress reports, relationship management, communicating research outcomes to Asthma Australia networks and wider community, and supporting translation of research into practice and policy. Rose also supports the evaluation of Asthma Australia programs and development of content for Asthma Australia resources and health education campaigns.

Members of Asthma Australia’s Research Advisory Committee


Adam Jaffe

Professor Adam Jaffe (BSc (Hons) MBBS MD FRCP FRCPCH FRACP FThorSoc) is the John Beveridge Professor of Paediatrics and Head of the School of Women’s and Children’s Health, Faculty of Medicine at UNSW, Sydney. He is also a Paediatric Respiratory Consultant at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick (since 2006).  He trained predominantly in London and gained his MD thesis in gene therapy for children with cystic fibrosis (CF) from Imperial College, the University of London in 2000. He was appointed Consultant in Respiratory Research at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London and headed up Respiratory Medicine research at the Institute of Child Health London in 2001. He is the Co-director of the miCF Research Centre. His research career centres around translational research specifically aimed at improving child health outcomes. His research interests lie in the areas of asthma, cystic fibrosis, childhood pneumonia, and rare “orphan” lung diseases. Jaffe chairs the Young Lungs program of Lung Foundation Australia and is on Lung Foundation Australia’s Rare Lung Diseases Committee and also Chairs the Paediatric writing group of the Australian Asthma Handbook, National Asthma Council Australia. He is the chair of the Aiming for Asthma Improvement in Children program in NSW. He is on the medical and scientific advisory committee of Rare Voices Australia and previously Asthma Australia. He is on the Board of the Australian Institute for Health Innovation, Macquarie University. He was on the writing committees of the National Strategic Plan for Lung Conditions (2019), Lung Foundation Australia, and National Strategic Action Plan for Rare Diseases, Rare Voices Australia.

Judith Wettenhall

Judith Wettenhall is the Chair of the Holbrook Local Health Advisory Committee, a role she has held for more than a decade.

She operates a farm in southern New South Wales and teaches in a casual role in a local school, where she has presented the Asthma Foundation’s Asthma Education package to teachers and students.

Ms. Wettenhall holds a Graduate Certificate in Asthma Education and herself has asthma.

Shyamali Dharmage

Shyamali Dharmage

Prof Shyamali Dharmage is a world-leading expert in Respiratory Epidemiology. She is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow trained in Clinical Medicine, Public Health and Epidemiology. She is the Founder and Head of the thriving Allergy and Lung Health Unit at The University of Melbourne.

Prof Dharmage leads an internationally recognised research program on allergies and lung health. She is custodian and Principal Investigator of two of the world’s key studies in allergies and lung health; the NHMRC funded Melbourne Atopic Cohort Study (MACS) and Tasmanian Longitudinal Health Study (TAHS) and an investigator on multiple national and international studies of lung health. Over the course of her career, she has published more than 400 peer-reviewed papers and been an invited speaker at more than 80 national and international conferences.

Prof Dharmage conducts high-quality research that changes public health policy and clinical practice to improve the health of Australians. In recognition of her research excellence, Prof Dharmage has been awarded the prestigious Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ) research medal (2020) and is on the Editorial Board of Lancet Respiratory Medicine, the top-ranked respiratory journal. She also sits on numerous international Boards and committees that develop policy and practice guidelines, for example, she is on the Advisory Board of the Chronic Airway Disease Early Stratification (a European Respiratory Society initiative to improve Precision Respiratory Medicine).

Dr Gabrielle McCallum

Dr. Gabrielle McCallum is a Senior Research Fellow, Clinical Nurse, and Program Leader of Menzies’ Child Health Respiratory team in Darwin. Having worked in the NT for the last several decades, Gabrielle’s passion is to improve the health and wellbeing of children through evidence-based research, culturally appropriate educational resources for First Nations families, and translating research findings into meaningful and culturally appropriate outcomes. Gabrielle’s work extends nationally and internationally to improve lung health outcomes for children.

Professor Phil Hansbro 

Professor Hansbro is the Director of the Centre for Inflammation, Centenary Institute and University of Technology Sydney, and is a Conjoint Professor in the Priority Research Centre for Healthy Lungs at the Hunter Medical Research Institute and University of Newcastle, Australia. He is also an NHMRC Principal Research Fellow. He has established internationally recognised research programs in infections, COPD, asthma, lung cancer, influenza and COVID-19. His group has developed several novel mouse models of the important diseases (COPD, severe, steroid-insensitive asthma, early life infection & lung cancer). He has interrogated them (immune, histological, pathological, lung function & molecular analysis) to substantially further our understanding of pathogenesis and to develop novel therapies. He performs complimentary collaborative clinical and multi-disciplinary studies and collaborates widely. He publishes extensively in influential journals and he is regularly invited to present internationally including plenary and to chair sessions. He has a substantial funding record of obtaining nationally competitive grants that support his group. He undertakes substantial mentoring and supervision activities of junior researchers, regularly sits on grant review panels and is on the editorial board of 4 journals. He is an active advocate for respiratory research in lobby groups and is regularly in the press promoting research and funding. 

Professor Lisa Wood 

Dr. Wood is Professor and Head of School of Biomedical Science and Pharmacy, at the University of Newcastle. She is also Head of Nutrition Research, within the Priority Research Centre for Healthy Lungs, at the Hunter Medical Research Institute. Prof Wood is a nutritional biochemist, registered nutritionist (RNutr) and clinical research scientist. Her research focuses on how nutritional factors such as antioxidants, fatty acids, fibre, and obesity, can modify inflammation, with a particular focus on the lungs. Prof Wood and her team have published extensively in the area (>160 peer-reviewed journal articles) and have contributed to the development of disease management guidelines, such as the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) guidelines, the Australian Asthma Handbook, and the National Asthma Council of Australia ‘Healthy Lifestyles’ brochure series. Her research has been recognized by various awards, including the Nutrition Society of Australia Research Award and the HMRI Mid Career research award in 2018. Dr. Wood currently serves as Immediate Past President of the Nutrition Society of Australia, Director of the Australian Nutrition Trust, and has served as Deputy Editor for Respirology and Editorial Board member for Nutrients.  

John Blakey

Assoc Professor John Blakey 

Associate Professor John Blakey is a Consultant in Respiratory Medicine at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth. His subspecialty interest is in asthma and related conditions. John has a strong record of quality improvement and service development activities, particularly relating to the use of newer connected technologies. His discipline-bridging collaborative research has been published in leading journals, and he has ongoing studies relating to the prediction of future asthma attacks.  

Professor Sharyn Rundle-Thiele

 Professor Sharyn Rundle-Thiele is a social marketer and behavioural scientist. Her work applies marketing to benefit people’s health and wellbeing and our planet. She is the Founding Director of Social Marketing @ Griffith, which is the largest university-based group of social marketers in the world. She is Founding Co-Editor of the Journal of Social Marketing.  Sharyn has attracted $12 million to fund her research program.  

She has led projects that have changed behaviours for 10,000’s of people in areas including health, the environment and for complex social issues. Sharyn has led programs that have increased healthy eatingchanged adolescent attitudes to alcohol drinkingreduced food wasteincreased dog’s abilities to avoid koalas, and many more.   

Programs that Sharyn leads represent excellent Return on Investment (ROI) demonstrating cost efficiencies rates that are 30% lower than other agencies.  Piloted programs have positively changed 30-44% of people reached, delivered 90%+ satisfaction rates, achieved 85%+ willingness to repeat the program rates and extensive reach (e.g. more than 1 million Australians).  

She has published more than 175 books, book chapters and journal papers. Awards and appointments including The Philip Kotler Social Marketing Distinguished Service Award and the Australian New Zealand Marketing Academy Fellow acknowledge her innovative, high-quality practice and science and her leadership.   

Professor Sotiris Vardoulakis 

Sotiris Vardoulakis is an inaugural Professor of Global Environmental Health at the ANU National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, which he joined in September 2019. Before this, he was Director of Research and Head of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Occupational Health at the Institute of Occupational Medicine in Edinburgh, UK. 

Sotiris is founding co-Chair of the International Consortium for Urban Environmental Health and Sustainability (Healthy-Polis) and Honorary Professor at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health at the University of Exeter Medical School. Previously he was Head of the Air Pollution and Climate Change Group, and of the Environmental Change Department, at Public Health England, and held academic positions at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of Birmingham. 

He was one of the lead authors of the first UK Climate Change Risk Assessment and contributor to the National Adaptation Programme. He served as a member of the NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, UK) Public Health Advisory Committee on Air Pollution and of the UK Royal College of Paediatricians and Childhood Health Group on Indoor Air Quality. 

Over the last 20 years, he has advised national and local governments and international organizations, such as the World Health Organization, the European Parliament, the UK Government, the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Australian Department of Health, on the health effects of climate change and air pollution, and on environmental sustainability, health protection, occupational hygiene, and risk communication. Sotiris has been involved in numerous research projects, including field studies, environmental monitoring and modelling, epidemiology, risk assessment, and policy analysis in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Pacific. 

His main research interests include climate change, air pollution and health, sustainable cities, exposure assessment, environmental epidemiology, and public health communication and policy. He is Specialty Chief Editor (Health and Cities) for Frontiers in Sustainable Cities, and Associate Editor (Climate Change and Health) for the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Sotiris frequently comments in the media and tweets @SotirisVard. 

Dr Pamela Laird

Dr Pamela Laird is a clinician research fellow at Telethon Kids Institute and paediatric respiratory physiotherapist at Perth Children’s Hospital. Pamela has worked in the paediatric respiratory field for 30 years in both the USA and Australia. Pamela is passionate about improving respiratory health outcomes for children through improving early symptom recognition and health seeking by families, and early and effective management by clinicians for chronic respiratory diseases, especially in First Nations children. The national clinical translation of Pamela’s research to date has resulted in the development, implementation, and evaluation of lung health literacy materials for First Nations families and online training modules for clinicians in providing culturally secure lung disease evaluation and management.

Lynda Whiteway

Lynda Whiteway is an experienced advocate in the health sector.

She performed the voluntary role of Queensland Cancer Fund Community Educator, informing consumers about prevention and early detection of some cancers, and influenced the expansion of the SunSmart schools project on the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay.

She is a member of the Making Care Better Group based at the Royal Adelaide Hospital encompassing the Central Adelaide Local Health Network Hospitals.

Paula Swatman

Paula is a semi-retired Professor of Information Systems who now focuses on Human Research Ethics (she chairs Swinburne University’s HREC and is a Research category member of Bellberry Australia’s 12 HRECs).

Paula has many years of volunteering experience in community health and digital support for older people and is an active member of her Huon Valley community in Tasmania, as well as volunteering with Health Consumers Tasmania.

She has always had seasonal allergy, but only developed asthma following the 2019 Huon Valley bushfires. She has found it very challenging to manage her asthma effectively due to being sensitive to almost all asthma medications and has needed to make several lifestyle adjustments.