Dr Tamara Blake

Respiratory Scientist

Child Health Research Centre
Faculty of Medicine

Overview

Tamara is a trained respiratory scientist and has 7 years' experience in measuring the lung function of children aged 3-18 years. She has recently completed her PhD whereby she validated the use of normal healthy reference values for two lung function tests (spirometry and fractional exhaled nitric oxide) for children who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. She has a particular interest in childhood respiratory illnesses such as cystic fibrosis and asthma, emerging clinical measurement techniques, as well as Australian First Nations respiratory health. Her current research aims to better understand the mechanisms of early CF lung disease and to improve current clinical outcome measures to aid in appropriate CF management.

Research Interests

  • Respiratory Disease
    Cystic fibrosis, asthma, bronchiectasis Implementation and validation of new diagnostic tests
  • Health and Environment
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
    Respiratory Child health

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Qld. UT

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • Due to current funding and immigration restrictions we are only able to accept domestic students.

    Increasing evidence suggests that irreversible, progressive lung disease begins in the very early years of life for patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) however; the exact mechanism(s) that drive this damage are still largely unknown. Risk factors for progressive lung disease are detectable in patients as early as three months of age. A significant limitation to early disease detection is the lack of feasible and sensitive measures available for use in very young patients. We aim to close this knowledge gap by using a new, innovative lung function technique that can easily and reliably measure lung function in very young children (<2 years of age).

    This project will involve participant recruitment and performing of lung function measurements on young children. A valid Blue Card is required. The successful candidate will have knowledge of respiratory system anatomy and physiology, experience in lung function testing, and excellent written and oral communication skills. A basic understanding of statistical methods is desirable.

  • Due to current funding and immigration restrictions we are only able to accept domestic students.

    Despite great advances in clinical care and survival rates in cystic fibrosis (CF), patients continue to suffer a decline in lung function that starts in mid-childhood and progresses throughout life. The Early Life Origins of CF project (‘ELO study’) aims to recruit and follow paediatric and adult patients (range 3 months – 30 years) from both QCH and TPCH for three years. This study will explore the mechanisms of early CF lung disease in an attempt to improve clinical outcome measures that are sensitive to early lung disease and disease progression across the CF life-stage.

    We are seeking a PhD student to work with our collaborators at CSIRO to aid in the development, optimization and validation of a safe magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) protocol and automated diagnostic tool for CF lung disease assessment. The successful candidate will assist it identifying and labelling key anatomical features and help to link image findings to CF disease characteristics and mechanisms i.e. bronchiectasis, mucus plugging. Analysis of images will be performed using a modified version of the PRAGMA-CF score developed for reporting early CF lung disease on chest CT scans. Our ideal candidate will have knowledge of cystic fibrosis (particularly respiratory symptoms and treatment), knowledge of respiratory system anatomy and physiology, excellent written and oral communications skills, a willingness to work as part of a multi-disciplinary collaborative team and maintain active collaborations with other labs and universities.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Journal Article

Conference Publication

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • Due to current funding and immigration restrictions we are only able to accept domestic students.

    Increasing evidence suggests that irreversible, progressive lung disease begins in the very early years of life for patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) however; the exact mechanism(s) that drive this damage are still largely unknown. Risk factors for progressive lung disease are detectable in patients as early as three months of age. A significant limitation to early disease detection is the lack of feasible and sensitive measures available for use in very young patients. We aim to close this knowledge gap by using a new, innovative lung function technique that can easily and reliably measure lung function in very young children (<2 years of age).

    This project will involve participant recruitment and performing of lung function measurements on young children. A valid Blue Card is required. The successful candidate will have knowledge of respiratory system anatomy and physiology, experience in lung function testing, and excellent written and oral communication skills. A basic understanding of statistical methods is desirable.

  • Due to current funding and immigration restrictions we are only able to accept domestic students.

    Despite great advances in clinical care and survival rates in cystic fibrosis (CF), patients continue to suffer a decline in lung function that starts in mid-childhood and progresses throughout life. The Early Life Origins of CF project (‘ELO study’) aims to recruit and follow paediatric and adult patients (range 3 months – 30 years) from both QCH and TPCH for three years. This study will explore the mechanisms of early CF lung disease in an attempt to improve clinical outcome measures that are sensitive to early lung disease and disease progression across the CF life-stage.

    We are seeking a PhD student to work with our collaborators at CSIRO to aid in the development, optimization and validation of a safe magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) protocol and automated diagnostic tool for CF lung disease assessment. The successful candidate will assist it identifying and labelling key anatomical features and help to link image findings to CF disease characteristics and mechanisms i.e. bronchiectasis, mucus plugging. Analysis of images will be performed using a modified version of the PRAGMA-CF score developed for reporting early CF lung disease on chest CT scans. Our ideal candidate will have knowledge of cystic fibrosis (particularly respiratory symptoms and treatment), knowledge of respiratory system anatomy and physiology, excellent written and oral communications skills, a willingness to work as part of a multi-disciplinary collaborative team and maintain active collaborations with other labs and universities.