Babies with cystic fibrosis and asthma are actually born with normal lungs. Young children and babies diagnosed with these conditions experience a structural change in their lungs and a functional change in their breathing within the first two years of their life.
Our researchers are conducting studies into when lung and breathing dysfunction occurs in a child and what actions we can take to intercept the structural and functional changes of the lungs. They are also conducting research on medication to delay or prevent respiratory infection.
The ultimate goal is to find a cure for respiratory disease. They aim to do this by trying to discover what causes healthy young lungs to stop developing normally. In doing this, our researchers can then look at ways of intervening and preventing respiratory problems altogether.
Professor Peter Sly
Professor Peter Sly will be directing the Kids Breathe Easy research program in 2010, having moved to the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation for this research from the University of Western Australia. Professor Sly has an outstanding reputation both within Australia and overseas as a researcher into respiratory diseases in children.
For the past two decades Professor Sly has led a host of multi-disciplinary collaborations into paediatric respiratory medicine and has been recognised as establishing the first true primary prevention study of asthma in the world.
Professor Sly’s research aims to understand the mechanisms underlying chronic childhood lung diseases in order to improve clinical management and to delay or prevent the onset of such conditions, with consequent reductions in adult lung diseases. He currently has world-first research trials operating in New York, Perth and Melbourne.