School of Paediatrics and Child Health

Rachel Foong

Contact

Rachel Foong

Rachel Foong

School of Paediatrics & Child Health
M561
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

Supervisors

Start Date

March 2011

Submission Date

February 2015

Rachel Foong

Thesis

The effects of vitamin D deficiency on airway remodelling in asthma. 

Summary

Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in children with asthma and is associated with airway hyper-responsiveness, reduced lung function and airway remodelling. However, it is difficult to establish a direct causal link between vitamin D deficiency and asthma in humans since low vitamin D levels are also associated with physical inactivity. My study examines whether vitamin D deficiency alters lung structure and function outcomes in asthma using a mouse model and whether vitamin D deficiency during lung development increases the risk for developing asthma. So far, my research has demonstrated increased airway hyper responsiveness and airway remodelling in vitamin D-deficient female mice. My project also investigates whether vitamin D deficiency exacerbates disease symptoms in a mouse model of chronic allergic asthma. Furthermore my project will determine if maternal vitamin D deficiency is important in these respiratory outcomes.

Why my research is important

This research is important because in Australia more than 10% of the population has asthma. If my research demonstrates that having sufficient levels of vitamin D during periods of lung development can 
improve lung health outcomes, it will support clinical trials that are currently being conducted testing the hypothesis that vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy to prevent asthma and allergic 
diseases.

Funding

  • Australian Postgraduate Award
  • Stan and Jean Perron Top-Up Scholarship
  • Asthma Foundation WA PhD Scholarship Top-Up 


 

School of Paediatrics and Child Health

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Last updated:
Monday, 25 August, 2014 5:02 PM

http://www.paediatrics.uwa.edu.au/2591146