Associate Professor Bozinovski leads the Airways Inflammation Research Group and his team is focused on identifying new molecular targets and treatments for lung diseases including COPD (or emphysema), respiratory infections and lung cancer.
Lung diseases including COPD (or emphysema), respiratory infections and lung cancer rank within the top 10 global causes of premature death according to the World Health Organisation. Uncontrolled inflammation is a hallmark feature of these diseases, where currently available anti-inflammatory agents display limited efficacy. The immune microenvironment surrounding malignant nodules can also directly contribute to the progression and severity of lung cancer.
Our team is focused on discovering new molecular targets for chronic lung diseases. Our broad approach involves the use of in vitro and experimental models to identify key mediators of damaging inflammation. We work closely with respiratory physicians to validate key mediators using clinically derived human disease tissue. We have expertise in targeting molecules using pharmacological and biological agents where lead targets are tested in cutting edge disease models.
I have driven translational research efforts with clinicians at Royal Melbourne Hospital involving the screening of COPD patients leading to the discovery of novel COPD exacerbation biomarkers. This work has identified the ALX/FPR2 receptor ligand, SAA as a major mediator of steroid resistant lung inflammation in COPD. ALX/FPR2 is an important receptor that can control the resolution of inflammation.
- We are investigating the role of pro-resolving mediators that target ALX/FPR2 for their ability to switch off damaging inflammation and promote tissue healing in chronic lung diseases and during respiratory infections including acute exacerbations of COPD.
- Since many COPD patients die from lung cancer, we are investigating whether the inflammatory SAA-FPR2 axis in COPD can support tumour growth in lung cancer, and we will investigate whether pro-resolving mediators can counteract this process.
- We are investigating how oxidative stress in chronic lung diseases directly contributes to a deficiency in immunity to respiratory infections and we are developing new therapeutic strategies to restore immunity.
- We are developing novel disease models involving early life exposures that can predispose susceptible individuals to developing chronic lung disease later in life. This work is focused on understanding the origin of chronic lung diseases.
Awards and research support grants
- Group Leader, RMIT Airways Inflammation Research Group
- Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship (2013-2017)
- NHMRC Project grant recipient (3 as CIA during 2008-2016)
- CR Roper Fellowship (2009-2011)
- Rebecca Cooper Equipment grant recipient (2015)
- Australian Respiratory Council grant recipient (2007)
- Pfizer commercial grant (2007)
- Asthma Aus grant in aide (2006)
- Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute PhD scholarship recipient (1997)
As leader of the Airways Inflammation Research Group I lead a multidisciplinary team of researchers that work across our core research interest areas. This team has diversity in skills and expertise across immunology, pharmacology and molecular biology and includes:
- 2x post-doctoral scientists
- 1x research assistant
- 2x PhD students
Teaching and Higher Degree Research (HDR) supervision
I have supervised to completion 10 Honours, Masters and PhD students over the past decade. My former students have fostered careers in basic science laboratories, some have transitioned over to a career in medicine and others have transitioned into an industry career path.
We are always interested in recruiting talented and motivated students into our research group. Our laboratory is fully equipped to perform cutting edge research, we have experienced staff to support and train students and we have consistently attracted funding to support our research projects. If you are interested in pursuing a HDR research project that is aligned with our core projects listed above, please contact me via email.
Peer review involvement
- NHMRC Assigners Academy member
- NHMRC Grant Review Panel member
- Independent Scientific Advisor for NHMRC
- ARC Discovery grant reviewer
- Grant reviewer for internationals funding bodies (MRC-UK, BLF)
- Reviewer for numerous journals including Science-TM, Nature Comms, Amer Jour Resp Crit Care Med.
- PhD thesis assessor for Australian and International Universities
- Category C member of the Animal Ethics Committee for RMIT University
- BSc Hons LaTrobe University (1997)
- PhD University of Melbourne & Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute (2001)
- Executive member of the Lung Health Research Centre (UoM).
- Chair of the Thoracic Society of Australia & NZ (TSANZ) Special Interest Group for COPD. TSANZ is the major national society for respiratory clinicians and researchers.
- Programme Committee member for the Allergy and Immunology Assembly for the American Thoracic Society, the leading international respiratory society.
- Member of the International Relations Committee Workgroup for the American Thoracic Society
- Editorial Board member for Frontiers in Respiratory Pharmacology & Current Respiratory Medicine Reviews
- Member of the ATS, TSANZ and ASCEPT societies
- DOWMAN, L.,McDonald, C.,Bozinovski, S.,Vlahos, R.,GILLIES, R.,Pouniotis, D.,HILL, C.,GOH, N.,Holland, A. (2017). (In Press) Greater endurance capacity and improved dyspnoea with acute oxygen supplementation in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients without resting hypoxaemia In: Respirology, , 1 - 8
- Vannitamby, A.,Seow, H.,Anderson, G.,Vlahos, R.,Thompson, M.,Steinfort, D.,Irving, L.,Bozinovski, S. (2017). Tumour-associated neutrophils and loss of epithelial PTEN can promote corticosteroid-insensitive MMP-9 expression in the chronically inflamed lung microenvironment In: eThorax, , 1 - 4
- Bozinovski, S.,Vlahos, R.,Anthony, D.,McQualter, J.,Anderson, G.,Irving, L.,Steinfort, D. (2016). COPD and squamous cell lung cancer: Aberrant inflammation and immunity is the common link In: British Journal of Pharmacology, 173, 635 - 648
- Passey, S.,Bozinovski, S.,Vlahos, R.,Anderson, G.,Hansen, M. (2016). Serum Amyloid A induces toll-like receptor 2-dependent inflammatory cytokine expression and atrophy in C2C12 skeletal muscle myotubes In: PLoS One, 11, 1 - 17
- Oostwoud, L.,Gunasinghe, P.,Seow, H.,Ye, J.,Selemidis, S.,Bozinovski, S.,Vlahos, R. (2016). Apocynin and ebselen reduce influenza A virus-induced lung inflammation in cigarette smoke-exposed mice In: Scientific Reports, 6, 1 - 16
- FitzPatrick, M.,Royce, S.,Langenbach, S.,McQualter, J.,Reading, P.,Wijburg, O.,Anderson, G.,Stewart, A.,Bourke, J.,Bozinovski, S. (2016). Neonatal pneumococcal colonisation caused by Influenza A infection alters lung function in adult mice In: Scientific Reports, 6, 1 - 12
- Austin, V.,Crack, P.,Bozinovski, S.,Miller, A.,Vlahos, R. (2016). COPD and stroke: are systemic inflammation and oxidative stress the missing links? In: Clinical Science, 130, 1039 - 1050
- Passey, S.,Hansen, M.,Bozinovski, S.,McDonald, C.,Holland, A.,Vlahos, R. (2016). Emerging therapies for the treatment of skeletal muscle wasting in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease In: Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 166, 56 - 70
- Bozinovski, S.,Seow, H.,Chan, S.,Anthony, D.,McQualter, J.,Hansen, M.,Jenkins, B.,Anderson, G.,Vlahos, R. (2015). Innate cellular sources of interleukin-17A regulate macrophage accumulation in cigarette smoke-induced lung inflammation in mice In: Clinical Science, 129, 785 - 796
- Bernardo, I.,Bozinovski, S.,Vlahos, R. (2015). Targeting oxidant-dependent mechanisms for the treatment of COPD and its comorbidities In: Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 155, 60 - 79
- Targeting oxidant-dependent pathways to improve stroke outcomes in COPD. Funded by: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Project Grants 2017 from (2017 to 2020)
- Targeting oxidant-dependent mechanisms that drive COPD and its co-morbidities. Funded by: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Project Grants 2015 from (2015 to 2017)
- Altering macrophage phenotype for the treatment of chronic airway disease and lung cancer - Administered by LaTrobe University. Funded by: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Project Grants 2015 from (2015 to 2018)
- Measuring small airway dysfuncion in chronic lung diseases. Funded by: Rebecca L Cooper Medical Research Equipment Grant pre-2014 from (2015 to 2015)
- Investigating the actions of anti-inflammatory pathways in chronic lung disease. Funded by: ARC Future Fellowships Grant 2013 from (2014 to 2017)
4 PhD Current Supervisions and 1 Masters by Research Current Supervisions