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Professor Sandra Hodge

Telephone +61 8 8222 3443
Position Head - COPD Research Group Lung Research Unit
Building IMVS - Hanson Institute Building
Floor/Room 1
Campus Institute of Medical & Veterinary Science
Org Unit Medical Specialties

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Biography/ Background

Professor Sandra Hodge

Professor Sandra Hodge heads the Chronic Inflammatory Lung Disease Research Laboratory at the Hanson Institute and is recognised internationally as the first to describe the concept of failed efferocytosis, its pro-inflammatory consequences in the airway in COPD, asthma and childhood bronchiectasis, and identification and translation of macrophage-targeted therapies. She has published 110 refereed manuscripts (73 as 1st or senior author) and 165 conference papers. Her work is highly cited by world-renowned experts and in top ranking journals, resulting in international collaborations, awards, speaker invitations, participation in Drug Discovery meetings and clinical trial translation.

Key publications:
1. Hodge S et al. Azithromycin Improves Macrophage Phagocytic Function and Expression of Mannose Receptor in COPD. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2008;178(2):139-48. This key human study published in the principle journal in its field, significantly added to the body of knowledge upon which the use of macrolides as anti-inflammatory therapies in lung disease is based. It provided a substantial basis for the establishment of a multi-centre NHMRC funded trial of macrolides in asthma. Highly cited by world-renowned experts in top-ranking journals (eg, Cosio et al, NEJM; Barnes et al, Lancet; Vandenabeele et al Nature Reviews), the GLUCOLD study and an official American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society statement
2. Hodge S, et al. Low-dose azithromycin improves phagocytosis of bacteria by both alveolar and monocyte-derived macrophages in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease subjects. Respirology 2012;17(5):802-7. This further report of positive effects of macrolides in chronic lung disease is one of 7 that have emerged from her involvement in clinical studies (featured in MDLinx; subject of editorial (Respirology 2013:17:p739) by P Hansbro a respected researcher in the field)
3. Hodge S, et al. Is there a therapeutic role for mannose binding lectin in cigarette smoke-induced lung inflammation? Evidence from a murine model. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 2010;42:235-42
4. Hodge S, et al. Cigarette Smoke-Induced Changes to Alveolar Macrophage Phenotype and Function Are Improved by Treatment with Procysteine. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 2011;44:1- 9.
5. Mukaro V et al. Lectins offer new perspectives in the development of macrophage-targeted therapies for COPD/emphysema PLoS One 2013;8(2):e5614.
Manuscripts 3-5 describe smoke-exposed murine emphysema models that have been applied to identify highly novel macrophage-targeted therapeutic approaches for chronic lung diseases. They have resulted in requests for industry collaborations, NHMRC Project Grants, selection for Faculty1000 medicine, presentation in International Innovation Report and feature on Pubadvanced.

Grants and awards: ~$12 mill in competitive grants as CI (~$9 mill from NHMRC). This funding has completely funded her salary and those of her team since 2000. She is CIA on 3 current NHMRC grants. Other major national grants include those from Asthma Australia, Australian Respiratory Council, Australian Lung Foundation (ALF), Cancer Council, CellCept, Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ); Allan Hanbury's Respiratory Research Fellowship, Robert Pierce GIA for Indigenous Lung Health, ALF/Boehringer Research Fellowship, Ch 7 Children's Research Foundation and Health Sciences Charitable Gifts Board.

Peer Recognition: International include
Invited International Plenary Speaker/ Visiting Professor:
• Université de Lausanne, Switzerland (2014).
• Le Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois Switzerland (2013)
• National Jewish Medical Research, Denver, USA (2009).
• University of Denver, USA (2009).
• GlaxoSmithkline (USA) COPD Drug Discovery group (2008).
Invited International speaker/Chair 
• European Respiratory Society (ERS) COPD Research Award Ceremony Session Chair (2012).
• ERS Hot Topic "Innate and adaptive immunity in COPD" Session Chair (2012).
• Int. Lectin Society (2011)-keynote speaker (Symposium "Clinical aspects of lectin biology").
• American Thoracic Society (ATS) -keynote speaker (Symposium "Coins for the Boatman: Is there a relationship between cell death, removal and disease?" (2010) .
• American Thoracic Society Invited speaker (2010).
• Australasian Flow Cytometry Group (AFCG)/Australian Society Immunology/HLDA (2004).
• Asia Pacific Society of Respirology/American College of Chest Physicians (2007)
• AFCG (2005) Presidential address.

International Conference Organizing Committees
• American Thoracic Society (2010).
• Asia Pacific Society of Respirology/American College of Chest Physicians (2004).
• AFCG/ASI/The human leucocyte differentiation antigens (HLDA) workshops (2004).
• Federation of Immunological Societies of Asia-Oceania (2004).

Industry Advisory or International Collaborative roles include Gilead Sciences (current), AstraZeneca R&D (2011-2012); GlaxoSmithkline COPD Drug Discovery group (2008), Uni of Duisburg-Essen Germany (current), Uni of Tabuk, Saudi Arabia (current), Genentech (current), Uni of Gothenburg Sweden (current), National Research Institute on Food & Nutrition, Italy (current)

International Reviewing Roles
• Granting Bodies: British Lung Foundation, Wellcome Trust, GDRT UK, MRC UK, Hong Kong Grants Committee, Lung Foundation Netherlands, Health Research Council of New Zealand.
• Reviewer for all the top respiratory journals and several high impact general journals.
• Editorial Board international journals Inflam & Allergy-Drug Targets, J Respiratory Research.
• Invited Chief Book Editor Macrophages in Chronic Lung Disease, Bentham 2010.

National Peer recognition: (in addition to Awards as detailed above) include
• Member NHMRC GRP (2012-2016).
• Member major health policy advisory group: TSANZ Research sub-committee.
• Parliamentary Select Committee on E-cigarettes (2015).
• Convenor TSANZ Cell Biology and Immunology SIG.
• Chair elect TSANZ awards committee.
• Past National Secretary and National President Australasian Flow Cytometry Group (AFCG).
• Hanson Institute Early Career Researcher of the Year (2008).
• Member CAHLN RRC Clinical Project Grant Committee.
• Member SA Pathology/ Hanson Institute Research equipment Advisory Committee.
• Member RAH Research Foundation Research Infrastructure Block Grants Committee.
• Member TSANZ Education and Research sub-committee (2010-2011).
• Conference Organising Committee include TSANZ (2013-2016), Federation of Immunological Societies of Asia-Oceania, Asia Pacific Society for Respirology, AFCG/ASI/ HLDA.
• Science Meets Parliament, representing NHMRC (2008).
• Reviewer National Granting Bodies- over 20 including NHMRC, Alfred Health, Actelion, Dust Diseases Board, ALF, TSANZ, Boehringer, Asthma Foundation, Astra Zeneca, Ludwig Engel.
• Reviewer PhD 5 Australian Universities.
• Invited Speaker/Chair: includes TSANZ, AFCG, Newcastle Asthma Meeting, Aust. Respiratory Council, Australian Lung Foundation, Australian Society for Microbiology, Woolcock Institute.

Research Translation/ Clinical Activities
• CI: Investigator-led clinical trials in COPD (2008, 2015-16).
• CI and substudy leader large multicentre clinical trial in asthma: NHMRC569246 (2009-14).
• AI National Clinical CRE in Severe Asthma (NHMRC APP1078579).
• AI Lung Transplant Consortium clinical trial of mesenchymal stromal cell therapy (APP1103789)
• CI with Gilead USA: Investigating non-antimicrobial macrolides (APP 1099040,1106377)

Community/health services: Media presentations, weekly screening clinics for smokers.

Contribution to Research Training: Supervised 18 postgraduate students; mentored over 49 postdoctoral researchers and students, and many Grant-Funded Scientists.


Expertise for Media Contact

CategoriesMedicine & Medical Research
Expertisechronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD]; emphysema; asthma; cell biology; novel therapies
NotesMy research has attracted >$9 million funding and translation to 2 clinical trials. International invitations include plenary speaker, session chair, conference organizing committees, policy meetings and journal editorial boards. Prestigious awards include ALF, Allan Hanburys, Boehringer, Hanson Institute. Industry engagement includes Advisor AstraZeneca R&D and GSK COPD Drug Discovery group.

Entry last updated: Wednesday, 8 Feb 2017

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