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Program Head, Respiratory Health

BScEnv (Hons) PhD

Associate Professor Alexander Larcombe began work at the Telethon Institute in 2005 and is now a Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Respiratory Environmental Health team.

During his time at the Institute Associate Professor Larcombe has led many research projects, primarily investigating the physiological consequences of early-life exposure to a range of respiratory system insults including:

  • allergen exposure (particularly ovalbumin and house dust mite as models of allergic airways disease),     
  • respiratory viral infection (including rhinovirus and influenza) and
  • exposure to environmental pollutants (including electronic cigarettes, tobacco smoke, diesel/biodiesel exhaust and arsenic).

Associate Professor Larcombe's research has shown how exposure to such insults in early-life (including in utero) can have significant impacts on lung growth and lung function, and lead to life-long respiratory disease.

The goals of his research are to establish and employ relevant models of respiratory dysfunction which can be easily manipulated to identify mechanisms of disease. Once likely mechanisms are fully identified, Associate Professor Larcombe aims to employ specific interventional studies with the ultimate goal of reducing the impact of early-life respiratory system insults on lung function which, in the long term, will improve the health of children and families.