Professor Graham Hall says one of the best things about research is seeing his students and colleagues succeed.
For him, watching his team members grow and develop their own careers is incredibly rewarding and he enjoys the part he can play in mentoring them and helping them achieve their goals.
Graham is a paediatric respiratory researcher with a focus on lung growth and development in early life and the impact of respiratory disease on lung health.
It was during his science degree at Swinburne University in Melbourne that Graham decided where his future lay.
"I was always interested in research and particularly paediatrics," he explains. "In the third year of my undergraduate degree, we were required to complete an industry-based placement. I spent my time in the neonatal intensive care unit at the children's hospital in Brisbane. Working with doctors and nurses and the tiniest of babies really cemented my interest in this area."
After completing his degree, Graham made the move to Perth to work as a research assistant with Professor Peter Sly here at the Institute. It turned into a PhD.
Europe beckoned and Graham was again on the move, this time settling in Switzerland. He spent two years looking at lung function and measuring early lung disease in kids at the children's hospitals in Zurich, where he was based, and Bern. It also meant he was close to some of Europe's best skiing.
Since 2003, Graham has been back in Perth. For seven years he was a senior scientist in the paediatric respiratory laboratory at Princess Margaret Hospital before starting up his own research lab at the Telethon Kids Institute.
Graham says what drives him is doing research that will help improve our understanding of lung disease in kids.
"All research is important, even if the results show that something doesn't work," he says. "It all contributes to helping us better understand that disease, it's all part of the bigger picture."
"But it is very satisfying when you can see the results of your work being translated into clinical care or policy or guidelines."
One such example is Graham's work in preterm babies and air travel. Almost a decade of research in this area has helped inform international guidelines that were released in 2012. "Almost all of the air travel guidelines for premmie babies were based on research done here in Perth," says Graham.
While the ski slopes of Switzerland are no longer on his doorstep, Graham still enjoys snowboarding and skiing, these days with his family.
"I don't get to hit the slopes too often but love getting back to Europe when I can, particularly Italy," he says. "Locally, I do a bit of swimming and swam to Rottnest in a team a few years ago and have completed the Busselton Jetty swim a couple of times."