Our People

Professor Alaina Ammit

Prof. Alaina Ammit

Professor Ammit is a biomedical scientist with an international reputation for her research elucidating the mechanistic basis of inflammation in respiratory diseases. Graduating with a PhD from University of Sydney in 1996, Alaina has received prestigious fellowships to support her postdoctoral career, including the Asthma Foundation Martin Hardie Research Fellowship and a NHMRC CJ Martin Fellowship (conducted at the University of Pennsylvania). Appointed to a Faculty position at the University of Sydney in 2002, she was promoted to Professor in 2014 and Head of the Respiratory Research Theme. In March 2016, she was recruited to the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research as the Director of the Woolcock Emphysema Centre, in collaboration with UTS where she has a continuing research-intensive role as Professor of Respiratory Pharmacology and Associate Dean (Research). Professor Ammit has received a career total of > $3.5 million in grant and fellowship funding from the NHMRC and has attracted over $1 million in project and equipment grant funding from local or NSW-based funders, approximately $2 million in multicentre collaborative equipment grants from the NHMRC and the ARC, and ~ $300,000 in philanthropic funding. She has demonstrated research leadership through international research contributions and high level engagement with the research community. Her current appointments include ARC Medical Research Advisory Group and NHMRC Grant Review Panel member. In the past she has served on the ARC College of Experts (2014-2017) as Editorial Board Member of the journals Allergy, Scientific Reports and Respiratory Research; on NHMRC Grant Review Panels (including Chair of NHMRC ECF Training Fellowships 2012-2013), Associate Dean (Research) (2006-2010), and Executive Director and Honorary Secretary of the Australian Society for Medical Research (2005-2007).

Professor Carol Armour AM

Prof. Carol Armour

Professor Armour has worked in the area of asthma research at a basic scientific and clinical level. Her investigations span the breadth of asthma research from the cellular mechanisms to the translation of new ways to treat asthma within the health system.  She is on the Australian Respiratory Council, The National Asthma Council and has chaired the National Asthma Monitoring Advisory Committee, worked on the National Therapeutic Guidelines and the Australian Medicines Handbook. From 2003 ‑ 2006 she was a member of the NHMRC Research Committee and was the Chair of the Training Awards Committee. She was Pro‑Vice Chancellor, Research, at The University of Sydney, from 2006‑2009. In 2005 she was made a Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society for her services to the profession, and she was awarded the Australasian Pharmaceutical Science Association (APSA) medal for research in 2007. She is currently a Professor of Pharmacology in the Faculties of Medicine and Health. She is the Executive Director of the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research. She was made a Member of the Order of Australia for significant services to medical education in the 2019 Honours list.

Professor Sinthia Bosnic-Anticevich

A/Prof. Sinthia Bosnic-Anticevich

Professor Bosnic-Anticevich is an internationally recognised leader in clinical pharmacy research in the field of respiratory medicine; in particular the quality use of respiratory medicines. She leads national and international research groups focusing on the use of respiratory medicines in different patient populations. She works across the continuum of health care settings, with a multi-dimensional and inter-professional approach to better understand and improving health outcomes for patients using respiratory medicines. She is the author of over 80 research publications and has attracted over $11 million of research funding. She is actively involved in the mentoring and supervision of research students and early career researchers. Professor Bosnic-Anticevich is on the executive committee of Allergic Rhinitis in Asthma (ARIA), the body responsible for creating guidelines for the management of allergic rhinitis and Chair of the Pharmacy ARIA group. Professor Bosnic-Anticevich is a member of the executive committee of the Respiratory Effectiveness Group, an investigator-led, not-for-profit research initiative that has been set up in recognition of the potential value of real-life research and the need to harness real-life evidence to inform meaningful practice guidelines, drug licensing and prescribing decisions. In this capacity she provides international leadership in setting research standards and excellence in real-life research and in evaluating mechanisms for integrating real-life research into clinical guidelines and practice.

Associate Professor Greg Fox

greg fox

Associate Professor Greg Fox is an Pulmonologist and Epidemiologist from the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research and the University of Sydney, Australia. His research primarily focuses upon active case-finding for tuberculosis (TB), control of drug resistant TB and the use of technology to enhance TB control. He lived in Vietnam for four years, during which time he helped to establish a multi-center randomized controlled trial of contact investigation for TB. He subsequently completed a post-doctoral Fellowship at McGill University in Canada. Dr Fox collaborates closely with the Vietnam National TB Program to undertake multi-center studies focused upon strengthening global TB control policies. He leads the V-QUIN MDR-Trial, a clinical trial evaluating the effectiveness of levofloxacin to treat latent TB infection among contacts of patients with MDR-TB, in partnership with the Vietnam National TB Program.

Professor Ron Grunstein AM

Prof. Ron Grustein

Professor Ron Grunstein has been a consultant physician in sleep disorders for over 30 years and a pioneer in improving patient care in sleep medicine in Australia and internationally. He is currently a Senior Principal Research Fellow of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC’s highest level research appointment) and Professor of Sleep Medicine at the University of Sydney. Ron heads the Sleep and Circadian Research Group at the Woolcock Institute and the NHMRC’s Centre of Research Excellence in Sleep and Circadian Translational Neurobiology aka “Neurosleep”. As well, he is Program Leader in the Co-operative Research Centre in Alertness, Safety and Productivity part-funded by the Commonwealth Department of Industry to answer the challenge of poor sleep and sleepiness impacting on driving, work and society in general. From 2007-2011, Professor Grunstein served as President of the World Sleep Federation, the roof body for sleep researchers and clinicians internationally organising successful world congresses in Cairns and Kyoto. He was awarded the Australasian Sleep Association Distinguished Achievement Award in 2010, the Kleitman Award, the premier award of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine in 2011 and the Royal Prince Alfred Foundation Medal for Excellence in Medical Research in 2012. In 2014, he received the Distinguished Professor Award from the Sydney Medical School. He has published over 250 peer reviewed articles in sleep research and 40 book chapters. He has a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery and MD degrees from The University of Sydney and a PhD from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia for significant services to medical education in the 2019 Honours list.

Professor Greg King

A/Prof. Greg King

Professor King is a medical graduate of Otago University and a clinician-researcher at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, The University of Sydney and Royal North Shore Hospital. He is Conjoint Professor of Respiratory Medicine, the Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney and Medical Director of the Respiratory Investigation Unit. He has a research interest in the mechanics of airways disease in relation to clinical aspects of disease. His expertise includes complex measurements of airway and lung function, including the forced oscillation technique, multiple breath nitrogen washout and 3-dimensional ventilation imaging and CT imaging. He currently supervises 6 PhD students (5 as primary supervisor) and postdoctoral fellows from science and medical backgrounds. He has a clinical and research interest in asthma, COPD and bronchiolitis in haemopoietic stem cell transplant recipients. Professor King maintains active participation in the activities of the TSANZ, APSR and ATS in terms of teaching, professional development and executive committee function.”                                          

Professor Guy Marks

Professor Maija Kohonen-Corish


Professor Maija Kohonen-Corish is a molecular geneticist with a long track record of discovery in translational research, including cancer genetics and colitis-associated cancer. She completed BSc and MSc at the University of Helsinki in Finland. This was followed by a PhD in human genetics at John Curtin School of Medical Research in Canberra, where she also established one of the first laboratories in Australia to identify the inherited gene mutations in Lynch Syndrome families (1991 – 2000). She obtained certification in molecular genetics by the Human Genetics Society of Australasia in 2005. She was the head of lung and colon cancer research at Garvan Institute of Medical Research 2002 – 2017 and was awarded the Cancer Institute NSW Fellowship for the maximum 3 terms (2005 – 2014). During this time she discovered new biomarkers of lung and colon tumours and developed a new mouse model of proximal colon cancer which resembles the mesenchymal subtype in humans. Her laboratory described two novel tumour suppressor functions for the MCC gene in DNA repair and cell-cell adhesion. They also established a MCC-knockout mouse that has provided a new model for colitis-associated cancer.

She was appointed Director of the Woolcock Centre for Lung Cancer in 2019 to investigate the role of the microbiome in lung cancer and its links to the efficacy of immunotherapy. She also continues to study the cancer risk in inflammatory bowel disease and to test possible new cancer therapies by exploiting the DNA repair defect caused by MCC silencing. She is an invited member of the Variant Interpretation Committee of the International Society for Gastrointestinal Hereditary Tumours that produces international guidelines how to interpret the pathogenicity of the inherited gene defects in Lynch Syndrome.

Prof. Guy Marks

Professor Guy Marks is a respiratory physician and environmental epidemiologist. His main research interests are in chronic respiratory disease (asthma and COPD), tuberculosis control and the adverse health effects of exposure to air pollution. He is Professor of Respiratory Medicine at UNSW, South Western Sydney Clinical School. He is currently an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow. He is head of the Respiratory and Environmental Epidemiology group at the Woolcock Institute and an Honorary Professor at The University of Sydney (Sydney Medical School). His other major roles include Editor-in-Chief (lung diseases) of the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Vice President of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Director of the Australian Centre for Airways Monitoring (a collaborating unit of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare), Chair of the NSW TB Advisory Committee, and Chair of the NSW Chief Health Officer’s Expert Advisory Committee on Air Pollution. He also received an Achievement Award by the NHMRC in 2014 for being the top-ranked applicant for a Research Fellowship in that year.

Associate Professor Craig Phillips

Associate Professor Brian Oliver

A/Prof Brian Oliver

Associate Professor Oliver is a translational researcher supported by a NHMRC Career Development Fellowship level 2 (Industry) – the aim of which is to identify and develop new ways of treating respiratory diseases, and an Associate Professor at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS).

His scientific training began at the National Heart and Lung Institute, UK, with Prof Peter Barnes. He then had further training in both molecular biology and then virology at Prof Sebastian Johnston’s laboratory at Imperial College, UK before commencing his PhD (awarded in 2005) at The University of Sydney (supervised by Prof Judith Black). 

He leads a productive team of researchers investigating the pathophysiology of respiratory diseases, with a particular emphasis on understanding mechanisms leading to disease exacerbations and progression. He is head of the Respiratory Cellular and Molecular Biology Group, at the Woolcock Institute, The co-director if the environmental respiratory group of SPHERE, the treasurer of LAM Australia, and the industry liaison officer of the TSANZ NSW.

Dr. Craig Phillips

Associate Professor Craig Phillips (University of Sydney - Northern Clinical School) is an NHMRC Research Fellow at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research. Most of his research has focused on how sleep apnoea and its treatment impact on cardio-metabolic health using rigorously designed randomised controlled trials. He was the first researcher to examine arterial stiffness in patients with sleep apnoea using a non-invasive tonometry technique. He is more broadly examining the impact of rotating shift work on markers of cardio-metabolic health using our unique chronobiology facilities at the Woolcock Institute. Additional work includes examining how molecular clocks are altered in conditions of disturbed sleep and how neurovascular dysfunction in sleep apnoea impacts on neurobehavioral and cognitive function.  

Associate Professor Cindy Thamrin

Clinical Professor Helen Reddel

Prof. Helen Reddel

Professor Helen Reddel is a respiratory physician working to improve treatment for asthma and COPD. She is a Research Leader in the Clinical Management Group at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, Chair of the Science Committee of the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), Clinical Adviser for the Australian Centre for Airways Disease Monitoring (ACAM), and a member of the Australian Asthma Handbook Guidelines Committee. Professor Reddel’s current research focusses on strategies to improve the management of asthma and COPD, with particular interest in improving the quality prescribing and use of respiratory medications in primary care, and population level monitoring of asthma and COPD through ACAM. She is co-chairing a multinational longitudinal study of 15,000 patients with asthma and/or COPD that aims to identify underlying disease mechanisms so that targeted treatments can be developed. Professor Reddel has a strong focus on improving communication between patients and
health professionals, and on making guidelines not only evidence-based, but also practical and practice-centred.

Dr. Cindy Thamrin

Dr Cindy Thamrin is a Research Leader and NHMRC Career Development Fellow at the Airway Physiology and Imaging Group, Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, and a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Sydney. She has a dual background in respiratory physiology and electronic engineering from the University of Western Australia. Her PhD in 2006 at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Perth, extended a lung function test known as the forced oscillation technique to track changes in airway mechanics with lung volume. Her postdoctoral research at the University Hospital of Bern, Switzerland, focussed on assessing future risk in asthma using novel variability analyses of lung function. Her current research interests are clinical application of new lung function tests, and advanced respiratory data analytics, especially applied to home tele-monitoring of asthma and COPD.

Professor Daniela Traini

Doctor Brett Toelle

Dr. Brett Toelle

Dr Brett Toelle is a Senior Research Fellow working within the Respiratory and Environmental Epidemiology Group. For over 27 years he has been involved in the population studies of lung disease which have included studies of pre-school children, schoolchildren, twins, community based adults and occupational work groups. His recent work has focussed on asthma as the participants in the Childhood Asthma Prevention Study (CAPS) transition through puberty and on COPD as part of the Australian Burden of Lung Disease (BOLD) project of adults aged 40+ years from six sites around the country. He is also a psychologist and undertook a PhD investigating “Factors associated with non-adherence to prescribed asthma medication”. During his psychology internship he worked with psychologists in the sleep research group and clinicians at the Royal Prince Alfred Insomnia Clinic.

Prof. Daniela Traini

Professor Traini is a Professor in Respiratory Science and Research Advisor for Health and Medical Research at Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney. She is an international leader in pulmonary drug delivery  and her research portfolio covers all areas of respiratory research, from bench to bedside. Professor Traini leads the Respiratory Technology group at the Woolcock Institute and works in collaboration with Professor Young. Over the last 13 years since joining the University of Sydney, and before during her 5 years in industry, she developed a leading research program on aerosol drug delivery, from powder engineering, aerosol generation and characterization, to in vitro to in vivo lung deposition with clinical outcomes. Professor Traini has extensive experience in both academic and industrial pharmaceutics, and still retains strong link with the pharmaceutical industry. Since 2005 she has published over 200 full peer reviewed manuscripts, has 6 patents and has attracted more than $12M in competitive funding.


Professor Paul Young

Prof. Paul Young

Professor Young is a Professor in Respiratory Technology at Sydney Medical School (Discipline of Pharmacology), Head of Respiratory Technology at the Woolcock and an ARC Future Fellow. Professor Young has 20 years’ experience in inhalation drug development with a focus on medical device engineering and industry engagement. He is an internationally recognised expert in the field of inhalation technology and has published >170 peer reviewed journal articles since 2002 (>3000 citations), 6 patents, 16 book chapters and in excess of 150 conference proceedings. He has an H-index of 32 and 5-year i10 index of 97. Professor Young has received > $15M for projects and infrastructure since 2005 and has a proven track record in securing category 1 ARC and NHMRC funding. His research team of around 20 personnel are considered world leaders in the field of aerosol science.