Emphysema Centre

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Woolcock Emphysema Centre

Welcome to Australia's only research centre dedicated to the fight against chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The high-tech facility leads the way with research to better understand, treat and prevent this disease. The establishment of the Woolcock Emphysema Centre has been made possible through the generous support of our donors, the Ernest Heine Family Foundation, and Mrs Janice Gibson and the late Mr Freddie Gibson.

The Woolcock Emphysema Centre is the ‘go-to’ hub for the approximately 300,000 Australians with emphysema, and top researchers wanting to improve the way this respiratory condition is treated.

The Centre is working to improve the lives of patients through earlier diagnosis, better treatment options and, ultimately, finding a cure for emphysema .

By integrating clinical and basic research, the centre is able to innovate rapidly and revolutionise the way emphysema is studied and treated.

Research for a Brighter Future

The Centre has three dedicated research themes.

The first theme is devoted to developing diagnostic tools that can be used to manage COPD and predict emphysema at an early stage. Work is already underway to build a test that can pick up lung changes before any wheeze or breathlessness symptoms appear.

The second theme is focused on understanding how emphysema operates at a molecular and genetic level with the aim of developing new approaches to halt and reverse the disease rather than just maintaining it. Breakthroughs in this field will be among the first in the world.

A third theme specialises in building innovative technologies for people already suffering from emphysema. Our researchers are working closely with clinicians to develop novel inhalation therapies to treat recurring chest infections and shortness of breath in patients.

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented new challenges to our research. We have contributed to research and clinical efforts to fight COVID-19, including providing advice and developing guidelines for the conducting of pulmonary rehabilitation to support recovery from COVID-19, produced for the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation.

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