Meet the Researcher - Helping local respiratory health

Friday, 6 September 2019 - 11:12am

After gaining a PhD in Zoology in Western Australia and a Masters in Biostatistics in Sydney, we are thrilled that Professor Graeme Zosky decided to make Tasmania his home in 2013, with outcomes of his medical research already benefiting the health of many Tasmanians.

As Deputy Director of the Menzies Institute for Medical Research and a Prof of Physiology in the School of Medicine at the University of Tasmania, Graeme has a strong passion for working to improve the health of the Tasmanian community. Graeme runs a broad and highly interesting research program which includes projects on lung support in critically ill patients, early life factors that influence lung health, and the health effects of air pollution.

Prior to moving to Tasmania, Graeme was based at the Telethon Kids Institute in Western Australia where he discovered his desire for improving respiratory health in children.

Professor Zosky’s research program has grown considerably since moving here, and he prides himself on conducting work that is relevant and valuable to the Tasmanian community. This includes his research into the effect of bushfire smoke on health; as a Chief Investigator in the “NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence on Air Pollution, Energy and Health”; and also his more recently funded work on finding the right ventilator settings for critically ill patients with lung failure, a study supported by the RHHRF through a generous bequest.

In his work on lung failure, which is undertaken in collaboration with Prof Peter Dargaville from the RHH, Graeme is trying to identify a better way to help patients who require support with their breathing, including pre-term babies whose lungs are still developing. He is achieving this using a state-of-the-art lung imaging technology which allows researchers and clinicians to see how the lung is being stretched in response to mechanical ventilation.  This amazing technology means the team can map the response to mechanically assisted ventilation across the lung, link this to the imaging data and then ultimately reduce the likelihood of negative side-effects, including long-term lung damage that can pose further complications. 

While the focus of the bequest gifted to the RHHRF is to explore life- threatening conditions of infancy, the aim of Professor Zosky and his team is to be able to gain insight which can then also be translated into clinical practice in order to improve outcomes in critically ill patients of all ages in times to come.

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