With the sponsorship help of the APSR Short-Term Research/Training Fellowship and the University of Newcastle, Australia, I had a chance to be a visiting-associate professor working at the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) from October 2011 to May 2012. After this training, I believe I achieved the fellowship's goals.
First, I gave a presentation entitled 'Research Progress in the Pneumology Group, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, China` in the fortnightly seminars at HMRI, which enabled professors and researchers in Australia to be familiar with my research group in China.
Dr Wang Gang, processing induced sputum
Second, I had undertaken two research projects on evidence-based medicine in asthma. One research was on perinatal outcomes in asthmatic women, which is being prepared for submission. The other one was in revised after being reviewed by a respiratory medicine journal.
Third, I studied the sputum induction and sputum processing in HMRI. After being trained, I grasped the process of sputum induction and sputum processing in detail, which is important for me for establishing the technical platform of sputum induction and sputum processing in West China Hospital, and to do my research and clinical work in future.
Fourth, I completed an original work about mast cell-based phenotypes of asthma by using induced sputum samples. This study was to explore the relationship between mast cell-based phenotypes and airway inflammation phenotypes in patients with asthma, and detected differential gene expression among different mast cell-based phenotypes by microarray methods. This paper is being prepared now.
Dr Wang Gang (left) in discussion with the research team
Fifth, I attended the 2012 Annual Scientific Meeting of the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand in Canberra, Australia from 31 March to 4 April. There, I took part in the Severe Asthma Network Meeting hosted by Dr Gibson, which was the prelude of the Asia-Pacific Severe Asthma Network Research. In early May, the Asia-Pacific Severe Asthma Network Research Meeting took place in the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, Australia. As one of the investigators from China, I participated in the discussion of the protocol of the Asia-Pacific Severe Asthma Network Research, and the case report form. I believe it will promote the collaboration of severe asthma research in China with Australia and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
It is the APSR that gave me an opportunity to study in Australia, which could improve my asthma research work in China in the future. Finally, I would like to show my sincere gratitude to Ms. Suga Konno, APSR secretariat; Dr Peter G Gibson, my host supervisor; Dr Xia Qing, my home supervisor, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, China; Ms. Vanessa Murphy, Heather Powell, Katie Baines, Michelle Gleeson, Bridgette Ridewood, Kellie Fakes, Naomi Fibbens, Penelope Baines, Juan-juan Fu and Mr. Michael Guo. In addition, I would like to show my thanks to Ms. Deborah Hall, Vanessa McDonald and Jodie Simpson. With their kind help, I had a good time in Australia.