Director of the centre, Professor Steve Stick

Director of the centre, Professor Steve Stick

For long-time respiratory clinician-researcher Professor Steve Stick, the opening of the Wal-yan Warlang-up Respiratory Research Centre in August last month was the culmination of 30 years’ hard work by a phalanx of doctors determine to see WA become a world leader in respiratory research.

Asthma sufferer Dartanyon Wilson-Finnis is one of the many children to benefit from the Wal-yan centre.

Asthma sufferer Dartanyon Wilson-Finnis is one of the many children to benefit from the Wal-yan centre.

The centre is a partnership between Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation (PCHF), Perth Children’s Hospital and Telethon Kids Institute, but Prof Stick said because the researchers had already strong networks, Wal-yan would also collaborate with other research centres particularly in Queensland and Victoria, the US and Europe.

The efforts of luminaries such as Prof Lou Landau, Prof Peter Le Soeuf, Prof Pat Holt and Prof Kevin Turner saw a cystic fibrosis research hub develop in the 1980s and that legacy has been developed by those who came after such as Prof Peter Sly and, of course, Prof Stick.

The work today, which currently is funded only by philanthropy underwritten by the PCHF, is also focusing on asthma research, with breakthrough studies of the airway epithelium showing enormous promise. The centre is involved in COVID-19 studies with Chile for the efficacy of interferon as a treatment.

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