Higher Degree by Research Candidate
Adelaide Medical School
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
PhD candidate at the University of Adelaide. Member of the Cystic Fibrosis Airway Research Group (CFARG) at the Women's and Children's Hospital, North Adelaide.
I am a PhD student working with the Adelaide Cystic Fibrosis Airway Research Group at the Women's and Children's Hospital. The aim of my research is to establish an effective animal model exhibiting a Pseudomonas aeruginosa airway infection in our new cystic fibrosis (CF) rat colony and to use this animal model to validate the safety and effectiveness of our two-step gene delivery protocol in the presence of P. aeruginosa infection and subsequent inflammation.
Supported by: MS McLeod PhD Scholarship and CFSA top-up scholarship.
From 2014 to 2016 I studied a Bachelor of Biomedical Science at the University of Adelaide were I majored in Genetics and Microbiology & Virology. In 2017 I completed my honours in airway gene therapy for the treatment of CF lung disease. My honours project involved the comparison between two pseudotypes (VSV-G and HA) to determine which envelope protein produces higher levels of reporter gene expression in the lung over time following lentiviral gene delivery. After completing my honours I was offered a PhD position with the CF airway research group supervised by Associate professor Dr David Parsons, Dr Martin Donnelley and Dr Nigel Farrow.
Research Project Background:
The lungs of CF patients face an endless cycle of infection, inflammation and tissue damage and is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in CF patients. Current treatment options available are limited in their effectiveness and only address the consequences of the disease. Lentiviral (LV) mediated airway gene therapy however, offers the potential to treat, halt or prevent CF lung disease for all mutation classes, and ultimately improve quality of life and extent the average lifespan of a CF patient. Our current LV vector delivery method involves pre-conditioning the airways with a compound called lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) followed by the gene vector. This delivery method has shown to be effective in producing sustained long-term gene expression in a variety of animal species; however, the safety and effectiveness of this gene delivery method in a CF infected airway has not yet been determined primarily due to the lack of an appropriate animal model.
To overcome this hurdle in airway gene therapy research and to progress our gene delivery method to clinical trials, we developed a new CF rat colony that exhibits CF lung disease. My project will utilise this new CF animal model to investigate these four aims:
- Establish a P. aeruginosa airway infection model in our CF rats and to determine whether the induction of an infection exacerbates the lung disease in the CF rats.
- Determine whether the use of LPC airway conditioning in P. aeruginosa infected lungs induces systemic infection.
- Determine whether the presence of P. aeruginosa infection and subsequent inflammation in the lung alters the effectiveness of our gene delivery protocol.
- Determine whether CFTR gene-addition can prevent and/or reverse the establishment of P. aeruginosa infection.
Awards and Achievements
Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount 2018 Scholarship CFSA top-up Scholarship Cystic Fibrosis Australia Australia $10,000 per year 2018 Scholarship MS McLeod Research Fund PhD Scholarship Women's and Children's Hospital Foundation Australia $30,000 per year
Language Competency English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
Date Institution name Country Title 2017 - 2018 University of Adelaide, Adelaide Australia Honours 2014 - 2016 University of Adelaide, Adelaide Australia Bachelor
Year Citation 2018 Carpentieri, C., Farrow, N., Cmielewski, P., McIntyre, C., McCarron, A., Rout-Pitt, N., . . . Donnelley, M. (2018). Airway Gene-Addition Therapy for Cystic Fibrosis: the VSV-G Pseudotype Produces Higher Transduction Levels Than HA. Poster session presented at the meeting of MOLECULAR THERAPY. Chicago, IL: CELL PRESS. 2018 Carpentieri, C., Farrow, N., Mcintyre, C., Cmielewski, P., Rout-Pitt, N., Parsons, D., & Donnelley, M. (2018). COMPARATIVE EFFICIENCY OF HA AND VSV-G PSEUDOTYPED LENTIVIRAL VECTORS FOR CYSTIC FIBROSIS AIRWAY GENE THERAPY. Poster session presented at the meeting of RESPIROLOGY. WILEY. 2017 Carpentieri, C., Farrow, N., McIntyre, C., McCarron, A., Rout-Pitt, N., Parsons, D., & Donnelley, M. (2017). COMPARATIVE EFFICIENCY OF HA AND VSV-G PSEUDOTYPED LENTIVIRAL VECTORS DEVELOPED FOR TREATING CYSTIC FIBROSIS LUNG DISEASE. Poster session presented at the meeting of PEDIATRIC PULMONOLOGY. WILEY.
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