School of Paediatrics and Child Health

Postgraduate Research Profiles


Laura Coleman

School of Paediatrics & Child Health
The University of Western Australia
Princess Margaret Hospital for Children
PO Box D 184, Subiaco
WA 6840

Phone (+61) 9340 8606
Fax (+61) 9388 2097


Start Date

March 2014

Submission Date

June 2017

Laura Coleman


Role of novel genes underlying immune responses to human rhinovirus (HRV) in children with acute lower respiratory illnesses.


One problem faced by children with asthma is acute exacerbation of symptoms due to respiratory viral infection, often resulting in emergency room visits and hospitalisation. It is thought this may be underpinned by an inherent deficiency in the immune response of asthmatics to viral infections.

There has been very little investigation of genes implicated in acute asthma exacerbations and viral responses of asthmatics. Only a few studies have sought to identify the genes and polymorphisms involved in acute asthma and even fewer have directly examined the roles these genes play.

This project aims to identify major genes involved in acute asthma exacerbation by taking samples of nasal epithelial cells from children suffering acute viral asthma exacerbation and extracting RNA to assess gene expression using micro-array. We will then validate the role and function of the identified genes in cell culture of airway epithelial cells using lentiviral transfection to introduce short hairpin RNA (shRNA) in order to knock down genes of interest and measure downstream signalling and cellular response to viral infection.

Why my research is important

The information gathered will hopefully be used to shed light on the mechanisms involved in acute asthma and identify potential drug targets for new and improved treatments.


  • Australian Postgraduate Award
  • UWA Top-Up Scholarship


School of Paediatrics and Child Health

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Last updated:
Monday, 1 September, 2014 3:02 PM