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 Australia’s 300,000 sufferers and top researchers wanting to change the way this respiratory condition is treated. The Centre, run from the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research headquarters in Glebe, Sydney, works to improve the lives of patients by ensuring earlier diagnosis, better treatment options and ultimately a cure which will allow thousands of people to avoid these conditions altogether. By integrating clinical and basic research, the centre is able to innovate rapidly and revolutionise the way these respiratory diseases are both studied and treated. The Centre is supported by the Breathlessness Clinic, a multidisciplinary clinic involving collaboration between a range of cardiology, respiratory and allied health professionals to investigate and diagnose breathlessness with a management plan to follow.
The Centre has three dedicated research themes, the first theme is devoted to developing diagnostic tools that can be used to manage the disease 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 the disease 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. These researchers are working closely with clinicians to develop novel inhalation therapies to treat recurring chest infections and shortness of breath in patients.