Last updated on 17/07/2023

Asthma Australia is dedicated to contributing to vital asthma research to realise our vision of a community free of asthma. An important step towards this is supporting upcoming researchers to further their career and continue their contributions to asthma research.  

We support researchers to take part in professional development through our career development grants, and here are our 2023 recipients! 

Clare Walter 

Clare is currently undertaking her PhD at the University of Queensland looking at the impacts of traffic pollution on Australian children. She is passionate about the links between environmental health and asthma, and in particular advocating for better standards and policies to protect children from traffic air pollution.    

Clare will use the grant to support costs for publishing her journal article Traffic related air pollution and childhood asthma – are risks appropriately addressed? An Australian case study.”. This will allow Clare’s article to be accessible to anyone, reaching a wider audience and supporting Clare’s focus on advocacy. 

Ridhima Wadhwa 

Ridhima is a current PhD student at the University of Technology Sydney. Her research focuses on severe asthma. Particularly, understanding how mitochondrial dysfunction is involved in the development of severe asthma.  

Ridhima will use the grant to become a member of the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand and to support her attendance at the 2023 European Respiratory Society International Congress. This will support Ridhima to present her research at the congress, get feedback and network with other researchers, healthcare professionals and industry professionals. This is particularly important to Ridhima given the interruption the COVID-19 pandemic had on her ability to build a profile as an emerging researcher.  

Kurtis Budden  

Kurtis is an early career researcher in The University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute. He was awarded his PhD in 2020 for his work investigating the use of microbial metabolites to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  

Kurtis used the grant to support his attendance at the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ) annual scientific meeting in March 2023. This supported Kurtis to present his research investigating how PM2.5 (particulate matter) from landscape fires affects immune responses in people with asthma. This was the first time Kurtis has presented this research at a national conference helping to establish himself as an asthma researcher.