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PhD candidate wins international award for E-cigarette research

12 May 2017

UTS PhD candidate Kielan McAlinden has been selected by the Assembly on Respiratory Structure and Function (RSF) to receive the prestigious 2017 American Thoracic Society (ATS) Stuart J. Hirst Award. Kielan is carrying out his PhD project with Dr Pawan Sharma and Mehra Haghi at UTS. 

Established in 2011, this award honours the memory of prominent thoracic researcher Dr Stuart J Hirst and recognises outstanding scientific achievement by a researcher investigating airway biology and physiology.

Kielan McAlinden

Photo: Kielan McAlinden (supplied)

McAlinden’s award-winning abstract was entitled “Maternal E-cigarette Vaping Enhances Development of Allergic Asthma in the Offspring”.  The study – produced in collaboration with the UTS Molecular Biosciences Research Team - tested the long-term safety and effect of E-cigarettes or “vaping” on lung patho-physiology.  Whilst maternal E-cigarette vaping has been considered as a “safer” cigarette replacement during pregnancy, the team determined that the effects of maternal E-cigarette vaping needed further assessment.  The team used mice to test whether maternal vaping enhanced features of allergic asthma in their offspring, and found that maternal E-Cigarette vaping enhanced and worsened features of allergic asthma in mice (Airway Hyperresponsiveness and Inflammation).

The award will be presented at the annual RSF Assembly Membership Meeting at the ATS International Conference in Washington DC later this month, with McAlinden in attendance. 

The UTS Community congratulates McAlinden and the UTS Molecular Biosciences Research Team on this outstanding achievement.


Citation for the award-winning paper:

McAlinden, K.et.al, 2017, 'Maternal E-cigarette Vaping Enhances Development of Allergic Asthma In the Offspring', American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, American Thoracic Society.