Associate Professor Nicholas Osborne

Associate Professor

School of Public Health
Faculty of Medicine
n.osborne@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 55178
0431854846

Overview

Dr Osborne, BSc(Hons), MAgSc, PhD is an epidemiologist and toxicologist with research interests in using environmental epidemiology to examine aetiology and pathological pathways of disease. He has worked on a range of projects examining environmental exposures and health outcomes including exposure to metals, pollen, mould, chronic exposures to low levels of chemicals, pesticide and cyanotoxins. He also has experience examining how exposure to environmental may increase health and wellbeing (green/bluespace and solar irradiance and vitamin D).

He has developed skills in the linkage of environmental and population health data in an interdisciplinary context, and has expertise in design, linkage, hypothesis formulation, analysis, interpretation, translation and dissemination.

He has experience in designing and collecting epidemiological data and initiating studies of primary collected data (HealthIron, HealthNuts, Cornwall Housing Study, Survey of Recreational Water Users, Monitoring of Meniere’s Symptoms).

He also has used secondary data from existing cohorts (NHANES, UK Biobank, 1958 Birth Cohort, British Household Survey, Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study, South Asian Clinical Toxicology Research Collaboration), as well as linkage of previously unconnected “big data” sets in mashups on novel platforms (MEDMI project). He has used traditional statistical methods such as linear/logistic regression, time series analysis, interrupted time series and Cox regression to ascertain associations between exposures and outcomes, as well as integrating confirmatory structured equation modelling with environmental/health data sets to construct conceptual diagrams of associations and assess pathway directions.

He currently researches pollen and health outcomes as well as chronic kidney disease in low to middle income countries.

He has supervised 6 PhD students to completion (2 primary supervisor, 4 co-supervisor) and currently supervises 4 PhD student. He has been associate editor of Archives of Environmental and Occupational Health since 2011 and is on the editorial board of International Journal of Epidemiology, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health and Pediatric Allergy, Immunology and Pulmonology. He is a member of Australasian Epidemiology Association, International Society of Environmental Epidemiology and International Epidemiology Association.

He has previously worked at the Universities of NSW, Sydney, Exeter, Melbourne, Portsmouth, Queensland and Flinders, the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the Cancer Council Victoria. He completed his PhD at the School of Population Health, University of Queensland/National Research Centre of Environmental Toxicology working on the toxicology and public health effects of cyanobacterial toxins in southeast Queensland.

Research Interests

  • Food allergy and environmental determinants
    Research here examines how certain environmental exposures appear to increase the risk of certain atopic diseases, asking the question on whether they are modifiable and hence a mechanism to reduce community burden.
  • Pollen and health
    Using eDNA to examine grass pollen and its relationship to health outcomes
  • Uncertain Chronic Kidney Disease
    Researching chronic kideny disease of unknown origin in Sri Lanka by examining a range of pathological pathways and environmental risk factors

Research Impacts

My research has been cited in numerous govt reports and society websites:

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) and the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI): Asthma and air pollution (https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/asthma-library/air-pollution-asthma)

Finding a Path to Safety in Food Allergy: Assessment of the Global Burden, Causes, Prevention, Management, and Public Policy (2017) National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Health and Medicine Division; Food and Nutrition Board; Committee on Food Allergies: Global Burden, Causes, Treatment, Prevention, and Public Policy; Virginia A. Stallings and Maria P. Oria, Editors

Risk factors for food allergy Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu Ministerie van Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Spor

GreenWater Laboratories Potentially Toxigenic (PTOX) Cyanobacteria List

Microbiomes of the Built Environment: A Research Agenda for Indoor Microbiology, Human Health, and Buildings (2017)

Guidelines on urban and peri-urban forestry - FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS, Rome, 2016

Promoting healthy and energy efficient buildings in the European Union - EU Law and Publications Cited by The Publications Office of the European Union on 11 Jan 2017 The Publications Office of the European Union (Publications Office), based in Luxembourg, is an interinstitutional office whose task is to publish the publications of the institutions of the European Union.

Future of the Sea: Health and Wellbeing of Coastal Communities Cited by UK Government (GOV.UK) on 22 Aug 2017 Government Office for Science

Why the United States Needs a National Birth Cohort Study - National Academy of Medicine NAM Perspectives. Discussion Paper, National Academy of Medicine, Washington, DC. doi: 10.31478/201605g

The first thousand days: an evidence paper Moore, T.G., Arefadib, N., Deery, A., & West, S. (2017). The First Thousand Days: An Evidence Paper. Parkville, Victoria; Centre for Community Child Health, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

The longitudinal study of Australian children: annual statistical report 2012 19 Jun 2013 Australian Institute of Family Studies

Anaphylaxis: assessment and referral after emergency treatment: Anaphylaxis: full guideline appendix G Cited by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence on 14 Dec 2011 The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care.

Human health and climate change in Pacific Island countries Cited by World Health Organization on 01 Jan 2015 The World Health Organization (WHO) is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system.

Opinion on BPA Cited by European Food Safety Authority on 21 Jan 2015 The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is an independent European agency which provides scientific advice on existing and emerging risks, as part of European Union (EU) risk assessments regarding food and feed safety.

Outcome of the public consultations: Scientific Opinion on Bisphenol A Cited by European Food Safety Authority on 21 Jan 2015 The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is an independent European agency which provides scientific advice on existing and emerging risks, as part of European Union (EU) risk assessments regarding food and feed safety.

Promoting healthy and energy efficient buildings in the European Union - EU Law and Publications Cited by The Publications Office of the European Union on 11 Jan 2017 The Publications Office of the European Union (Publications Office), based in Luxembourg, is an interinstitutional office whose task is to publish the publications of the institutions of the European Union.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Master of Agricultural Science, The University of Queensland

Publications

  • Brennan, Georgina L. , Potter, Caitlin , de Vere, Natasha , Griffith, Gareth W. , Skjøth, Carsten A. , Osborne, Nicholas J. , Wheeler, Benedict W. , McInnes, Rachel N. , Clewlow, Yolanda , Barber, Adam , Hanlon, Helen M. , Hegarty, Matthew , Jones, Laura , Kurganskiy, Alexander , Rowney, Francis M. , Armitage, Charlotte , Adams-Groom, Beverley , Ford, Col R. , Petch, Geoff M. , The PollerGEN Consortium and Creer, Simon (2019). Temperate airborne grass pollen defined by spatio-temporal shifts in community composition. Nature Ecology and Evolution, 3 (5), 750-754. doi: 10.1038/s41559-019-0849-7

  • McInnes, Rachel N., Hernming, Deborah, Burgess, Peter, Lyndsay, Donna, Osborne, Nicholas J., Skjoth, Carsten Ambelas, Thomas, Sam and Vardoulakis, Sotiris (2017). Mapping allergenic pollen vegetation in UK to study environmental exposure and human health. Science of the Total Environment, 599-600, 483-499. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.04.136

  • Osborne, Nicholas J., Alcock, Ian, Wheeler, Benedict W., Hajat, Shakoor, Sarran, Christophe, Clewlow, Yolanda, McInnes, Rachel N., Hemming, Deborah, White, Mathew, Vardoulakis, Sotiris and Fleming, Lora E. (2017). Pollen exposure and hospitalization due to asthma exacerbations: Daily time series in a European city. International Journal of Biometeorology, 61 (10), 1837-1848. doi: 10.1007/s00484-017-1369-2

  • Osborne, Nicholas J., Cairns, Rose, Dawson, Andrew H., Chitty, Kate M. and Buckley, Nicholas A. (2017). Epidemiology of coronial deaths from pesticide ingestion in Australia. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 220 (2, Part B), 478-484. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2017.01.009

  • Schmidt, Wiebke, Sarran, Christophe, Ronan, Natalie, Barrett, George, Whinney, David J., Fleming, Lora E., Osborne, Nicholas J. and Tyrrell, Jessica (2017). The Weather and Meniere's Disease: A Longitudinal Analysis in the UK. Otology & Neurotology, 38 (2), 225-233. doi: 10.1097/MAO.0000000000001270

  • Cherrie, M. P.C., Wheeler, B. W., White, M. P., Sarran, C. E. and Osborne, N. J. (2015). Coastal climate is associated with elevated solar irradiance and higher 25(OH)D level. Environment International, 77, 76-84. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2015.01.005

  • Sharpe, Richard A., Bearman, Nick, Thornton, Christopher R., Husk, Kerryn and Osborne, Nicholas J. (2015). Indoor fungal diversity and asthma: a meta-analysis and systematic review of risk factors. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 135 (1), 110-122. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2014.07.002

  • Tyrrell, Jessica, Melzer, David, Henley, William, Galloway, Tamara S. and Osborne, Nicholas J. (2013). Associations between socioeconomic status and environmental toxicant concentrations in adults in the USA: NHANES 2001-2010. Environment International, 59, 328-335. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2013.06.017

  • Melzer, David, Osborne, Nicholas J., Henley, William E., Cipelli, Riccardo, Young, Anita, Money, Cathryn, McCormack, Paul, Luben, Robert, Khaw, Kay-Tee, Wareham, Nicholas J. and Galloway, Tamara S. (2012). Urinary bisphenol A concentration and risk of future coronary artery disease in apparently healthy men and women. Circulation, 125 (12), 1482-1490. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.111.069153

  • Osborne, Nicholas J., Ukoumunne, Obioha C., Wake, Melissa and Allen, Katrina J. (2012). Prevalence of eczema and food allergy is associated with latitude in Australia. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 129 (3), 865-867. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2012.01.037

  • Osborne, Nicholas J., Koplin, Jennifer J., Martin, Pamela E., Gurrin, Lyle C., Lowe, Adrian J., Matheson, Melanie C., Ponsonby, Anne-Louise, Wake, Melissa, Tang, Mimi L. K., Dharmage, Shyamali C. and Allen, Katrina J. (2011). Prevalence of challenge-proven IgE-mediated food allergy using population-based sampling and predetermined challenge criteria in infants. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 127 (3), 668-676. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2011.01.039

  • Allen, Katrina J., Gurrin, Lyle C., Constantine, Clare C., Osborne, Nicholas J., Delatycki, Martin B., Nicoll, Amanda J., McLaren, Christine E., Bahlo, Melanie, Nisselle, Amy E., Vulpe, Chris D., Anderson, Gregory J., Southey, Melissa C., Giles, Graham G., English, Dallas R., Hopper, John L., Olynyk, John K., Powell, Lawrie W. and Gertig, Dorota M. (2008). Iron-overload-related disease in HFE hereditary hemochromatosis. New England Journal of Medicine, 358 (3), 221-230. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa073286

  • Osborne, Nicholas J. T., Webb, Penny M. and Shaw, Glen R. (2001). The toxins of Lyngbya majuscula and their human and ecological health effects. Environment International, 27 (5), 381-392. doi: 10.1016/S0160-4120(01)00098-8

View all Publications

Available Projects

  • This study will use the resources of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children to examine enviornmental risk factors of food allergy, atopy and asthma in Australian Children

    Recent reports from both Australia and the United States suggest that vitamin D might play a role in the recent increase in allergic disease, in particular food allergy. Using indirect markers of food allergy status, such as prescription of hypoallergenic formula, EpiPen (Dey Pharma, Basking Ridge, NJ) prescription, and emergency department admission4for probable food-induced anaphylaxis, they surmised that the further a person resides from the equator, the more likely he or she is to have food allergy. They further suggested that this could be possibly related to UV exposure, with those cities with the lowest ambient UV radiation likely to have the highest proportion of population with vitamin D insufficiency.

    Australia is particularly strongly placed to examine these associations. It has among the highest prevalences of challenge-proved food allergy, eczema, and asthma. It also has one of the longest north-south borders in the world, measuring approximately 4500 km from the North of Queensland to the South of Tasmania. It also has a nationally representative epidemiologic study, the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC), containing information on 2 cohorts of children on state of domicile; parental report of food allergy, eczema, and asthma; and potential confounders.

    To examine the how the relationship between mental health and asthma has changed in Australian generations and their different exposures, through the lens of a holistic spatial life course protocol. This will see the bringing together of a range of potential risk factors and confounders (documented and otherwise) of asthma. In addition selection of cases of asthma in the cohort will be assessed by multiple routes to increase the validity of case selection (beyond existing self-diagnosis).

    The study aims to move beyond examining the prevalence and risks of asthma exacerbation to tackle the underlying reason for the significant increase in this disease during the 1980-90s (Weiss and Wagener 1990, Taylor, Comino et al. 1997, Beasley 2002). A similar rise in food allergy has been witnessed globally in high income countries (Prescott and Allen 2011, Mullins, Dear et al. 2015) but limited evidence in LMICs (Hoyos-Bachiloglu, Escobar et al. , Loh and Tang 2018). While asthma and atopy are complex diseases with both genetic and environmental influences, both have increased in a short time, combined with data from emigrants suggesting higher rates of atopy in their adopted versus home countries suggesting the increase is due to environmental factors.

    Key Goals:

    1: In the selected cohorts we will examine if higher levels of stress are related to atopic disease outcomes

    2: To what extent does stress contribute to atopic disease compared with a range of environmental factors such as poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, traffic pollution, markers of adiposity, birth order?

    3: Is green space a confounder to the relationship between stress and atopic disease and will this alter with climate change?

    4: Are there critical periods in the lifecycle (e.g., Barker hypothesis, early childhood stress, adult onset) when exposure to stress programs the body to later onset of atopic disease?

    5: What is the relationship between biomarkers of stress, reported psychological stress and atopic disease?

    6: Work out an attributable risk of stress on atopic disease

  • Prediction of environmental conditions (pollen, pollution and weather) that lead to patients being hospitalised with asthma is possible from the large amounts of data being collected on a daily basis. Deriving the mathematics to do this is underway but more work needs to be done, especially in the Australian context. Another factor hindering prediction is that grass pollen, known to be the major culprit globally for inducing asthma, is only counted as a single entity, although it consists of hundreds of species. Our research will enable grass pollen to be examined more closely in the future, enabling better predictions to enable asthma patients to better manage their disease.

    This research will result in greater knowledge to improve the care of and outcomes for asthma sufferers both in Australia and internationally, using existing big data. It results from a trans-disciplinary approach, including international research partners, that will increase learning in both clinical and non-clinical settings. In the short-term findings will be immediately translatable to clinicians and their patients while in the long-term data produced will enter the evidence base to influence upcoming policy decisions on air pollution and other modifiable risk factors of respiratory disease. The models prepared will have cross cutting application to a range of fields in epidemiology. The potential of environmental DNA to be of interest to industry is high as new monitoring technologies come on line as our understanding of how we interact with our environment increases. The advent of personalised/stratified medicine over the next decade will see demand by clinicians and patient for more information on respirable allergens and this research will initiate a move in that direction using novel DNA metabarcoding. It has potential to achieve funding from both medical, non-medical and industry sectors.

  • Understanding the environment and its dynamic nature in a time of climate change and urbanisation is vital to reduce disease burden of chronic diseases that are increasing prevalent in both high and low to middle income countries.

    We have been examining the relationship between levels of individual grass pollens at 16 sites across the UK with data collected over 3 years.

    Several questions remain to be answered in this research. Firstly, our initial studies have examined measures at 16 sites across the UK. Pollen measures from the sites have been subsequently modelled and we wish in this studentship to use this modelled individual taxa grass pollen data with health data from across the UK to give us a better understanding of the associations between pollen and health outcomes.

    This work has seen the development of a novel, mechanistic grass species' pollen model. This will enable better prediction via models (existing air quality models ERF-Chem and HYSPLIT). This environmental data will then be examined in the context of hospital episode statistics and GP prescription data. In addition to the modelled pollen data other biological, meteorological and demographic variables will be assessed. This knowledge will feed into predictions on how prevalence and incidence of allergy and asthma episodes may change with changing environmental and demographic conditions into the future.

    Our findings will be examined in the both the Australian and UK contexts. We have been interacting with the Bureau of Meteorology Australia to pursue these concepts with available Australian data.

    This has most recently been seen in their collaboration with the PollerGEN research project (£1.2M NERC grant 2016-9) “Using molecular genetics to understand grass species pollen deposition: enhancing bio-aerosol models and implications for human health”.

    This PhD will allow additional data obtained in the research program to be analysed and concepts and ideas examined in the Australian context (most allergenic taxa are common to both countries) with the ability to compare and contrast to the UK scenarios. The benefits of this work in allowing patients to better manage their chronic lifelong diseases of asthma and allergy has commercial potential as well as ongoing academic research funding.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Featured Publications

Book Chapter

  • Sharpe, Richard, Osborne, Nicholas, Vardoulakis, Sotiris and Dimitroulopoulou, Sani (2020). Housing, Indoor Air Pollution, and Health in High-Income Countries. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Environmental Science. (pp. 1-45) Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/acrefore/9780199389414.013.34

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Stewart, Patrick T., Chiew, Angela L., Becker, Therese, Osborne, Nicholas J., Withall, Adrienne and Chan, Betty (2020). Post-overdose cognitive function. International Congress of the European Association of Poisons Centres and Clinical Toxicologists (EAPCCT), Tallinn, Estonia, 19-22 May 2020. Philadelphia, PA, United States: Taylor & Francis.

  • Brennan, G., Potter, C., Adams-Groom, B., Barber, A., Clewlow, Y., De Vere, N., Griffith, G., Hanlon, H. M., Hegarty, M., Kurganskiy, A., Mc Innes, R. N., Petch, G., Osborne, N., Skjoth, C., Wheeler, B. and Creer, S. (2019). Assessing quantitative taxon-specific grass pollen biodiversity in time and space using targeted molecular analysis of aerial environmental DNA. Congress of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI), Lisbon, Portugal, 1-5 June 2019. Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing. doi: 10.1111/all.13957

  • Osborne, N., Hajat, S., Skjoth, C., Sarran, C., McInnes, R., Hemming, D., Vardoulakis, S., Fleming, L. and Wheeler, B. (2019). Different levels of hospitalisation due to asthma across the grass pollen season. 2019 Annual Conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, Utrecht, the Netherlands, 25 - 28 August 2019. Wolters Kluwer Health. doi: 10.1097/01.ee9.0000609208.53151.a6

  • Griffith, G.W., Potter, C., De Vere, N., Hegarty, M., Brennan, G.L., Skjøth, C.A., Osborne, N.J., Wheeler, B.W., Rowney, F.M., Barber, A., Clewlow, Y., Mcinnes, R.N., Hanlon, H.M., Adams‐Groom, B., Kurganskiy, A., Petch, G.M., Jones, L., Ford, C.R., Armitage, C. and Creer, S. (2019). High- throughput DNA sequencing defines spatiotemporal shifts in airborne grass pollen communities at species level. European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Congress, Lisbon, Portugal, 1 - 5 June 2019. Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing. doi: 10.1111/all.13957

  • Griffith, G. W., Potter, C., De Vere, N., Hegarty, M., Brennan, G. L., Skjoth, C. A., Osborne, N. J., Wheeler, B. W., Rowney, F. M., Barber, A., Clewlow, Y., Mcinnes, R. N., Hanlon, H. M., Adams-Groom, B., Kurganskiy, A., Petch, G. M., Jones, L., Ford, C. R., Armitage, C. and Creer, S. (2019). High-throughput DNA sequencing defines spatiotemporal shifts in airborne grass pollen communities at species level. Congress of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI), Lisbon, Portugal, 1-5 June 2019. Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing. doi: 10.1111/all.13957

  • Goodwins, L., Menzies, B., Osborne, N. and Muscatello, D. (2019). Human seasonal influenza and climate change: a systematic review of the methods used to examine the relationship between meteorological variables and influenza. 2019 Annual Conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, Utrecht, the Netherlands, 25-28 August 2019. Wolters Kluwer Health. doi: 10.1097/01.ee9.0000607256.48033.53

  • Osborne, N. , Waudby, C. , Sherwood, S. and Muscatello, D. (2019). Pollen flowing over the Great Dividing Range, Australia. 2019 Annual Conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, Utrecht, Netherlands, 25-28 August 2019. Philadelphia, PA, United States: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. doi: 10.1097/01.ee9.0000610820.53949.3a

  • Osborne, N., Kaur, H., Pett, J., Dissanayake, D. , Jayasekara, K. , Mohamed, F., Knight, J., Rahman, B. and Taylor, R. (2019). Relationship between access to piped water and CKDu: a conditional autoregressive model. 2019 Annual Conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, Utrecht, the Netherlands, 25-28 August 2019. Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health). doi: 10.1097/01.ee9.0000609212.53151.ab

  • Rowney, F., Potter, C., Brennan, G., Osborne, N. , Economou, T., McInnes, R., Creer, S., de Vere, N., Skjøth, C. and Wheeler, B. (2019). Respiratory health outcomes associated with different grass taxa in the UK. 2019 Annual Conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, Utrecht, the Netherlands, 25-28 August 2019. Wolters Kluwer Health. doi: 10.1097/01.ee9.0000609768.07517.40

  • Pathiraja, Vindya M., Gawarammana, Indika B., Buckley, Nicholas A., Mohamed, Fahim, Jayamanna, Shaluka F., Osborne, Nicholas and Dawson, Andrew H. (2017). Palatability of tablets and capsule forms of N-acetylcysteine and methionine and associated adverse events in healthy volunteers. ABINGDON: TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD.

  • Osborne, N., Amos, B. and Tyrrell, J. (2015). Adult food allergy in the UK biobank cohort study. Annual Meeting of the British-Society-for-Allergy-and-Clinical-Immunology, Telford England, Sep 28-30, 2014. HOBOKEN: WILEY-BLACKWELL.

  • Cherrie, M., Osborne, N. J. and Sarran, C. (2015). Association between vitamin D status and asthma: a secondary analysis of the 1958 Birth Cohort, UK. Annual Meeting of the British-Society-for-Allergy-and-Clinical-Immunology, Telford England, Sep 28-30, 2014. HOBOKEN: WILEY-BLACKWELL.

  • Sharpe, R. A., Thornton, C. R., Nikolaou, V. and Osborne, N. J. (2015). Household energy efficiency, fungi and allergic asthma. Annual Meeting of the British-Society-for-Allergy-and-Clinical-Immunology, Telford England, Sep 28-30, 2014. HOBOKEN: WILEY-BLACKWELL.

  • Osborne, N. J., Amos, B. and Tyrrell, J. (2015). Adult Drug and Food Allergy in the UK Biobank Cohort Study. 20th IEA World Congress of Epidemiology (WCE), Anchorage, Alaska, 17-21 August 2014 . Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

  • Shiue,, Boyle, R. J., Tyrrell, J., Ukoumunne, O. and Osborne, N. J. (2013). Abnormal liver function is associated with food sensitisation: NHANES, 20052006. World Allergy and Asthma Congress of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and World Allergy Organization, Milan, Italy, 22-26 June 2013 . Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell.

  • Koplin, J. J., Martin, P. E., Tang, M. L. K., Gurrin, L. C., Lowe, A. J., Osborne, N. J., Robinson, M. N., Ponsonby, A., Dharmage, S. C. and Allen, K. J. (2012). Do Factors Known to Alter Infant Microbial Exposures Alter the Risk of Food Allergy and Eczema in a Population-based Infant Study?. Annual Meeting of the American-Academy-of-Allergy-Asthma-and-Immunology (AAAAI), Orlando, Florida, 2-6 March 2012 . Philadelphia, PA, United States: Mosby. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2011.12.150

  • Tan, T., Ellis, J. A., Koplin, J. J., Martin, P. E., Dang, T. D., Matheson, M. C., Dharmage, S., Lowe, A., Tang, M., Robinson, M., Ponsonby, A., Osborne, N., Hill, D. and Allen, K. J. (2012). Filaggrin Mutations are Associated with an Increased Risk of Infantile Food Allergy and Sensitization. Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), Orlando, FL United States, 2-6 March 2012. New York, NY United States: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2011.12.213

  • Hunter, J., Madden, R., Stone, A., Osborne, N., Wheeler, B., Barlow, M., Bendall, R., Lin, N., Henley, W., Gaze, W. and Dalton, H. (2012). Hepatitis E (HEV) in south west England. Geographical, environmental and social factors: a case control study. Digestive Disorders Federation Meeting, Liverpool, 17–20 June 2012. London, United Kingdom: BMJ Group. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2012-302514b.161

  • Taylor, Mark, Wheeler, B. W., White, M. P. and Osborne, N. J. (2012). Street trees and anti-depressant use in London, UK Cross sectional analyses 2009-2010. 5th European Public Health Conference, Malta, 8-10 November 2012. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

  • Allen, K. J., Koplin, J. J., Martin, P. E., Gurrin, L. C., Tang, M. L. K., Lowe, A. J., Osborne, N. J., Robinson, M. N., Ponsonby, A. and Dharmage, S. C. (2012). Vitamin D insufficiency is strongly associated with challenge-proven infantile food allergy in the HealthNuts population-based study. Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), Orlando, Florida, 2-6 March 2012. Philadelphia, PA, United States: Mosby. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2011.12.474

  • Gurrin, L. C., Martin, P. E., Koplin, J. J., Peters, R., Osborne, N. J., Bertalli, N. A., Matheson, M. C., Lowe, A. J., Ponsonby, A., Wake, M., Tang, M. L., Dharmage, S. C. and Allen, K. J. (2011). Can skin prick testing thresholds replace oral food challenges in population-based studies and community screening of infants?. American-Academy-of-Allergy-Asthma-and-Immunology Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California, 18-22 March 2011 . Philadelphia, PA, United States: Mosby. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2011.01.003

  • Dang, T. D., Licciardi, P. V., Martin, P. E., Koplin, J. J., Tan, T., Osborne, N. J., Tang, M. and Allen, K. J. (2011). Characterization Of Immune Cytokine Profiles In Food Allergic And Food Sensitized Tolerant 12 Month Old Infants. American-Academy-of-Allergy-Asthma-and-Immunology Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California, 18-22 March 2011. Philadelphia, PA, United States: Mosby. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2010.12.134

  • Koplin, J., Osborne, N., Gurrin, L., Tang, M., Dharmage, S. and Allen, K. (2011). Environmental risk factors for oral food challenge-confirmed egg allergy in a population-based study of an infant cohort. 30th Congress of the European-Academy-of-Allergy-and-Clinical-Immunology (EAACI), Istanbul Turkey, 11-15 June 2011. Hoboken, NJ United States: Wiley-Blackwell.

  • Wang, Y., Gurrin, L., Wluka, A., Bertalli, N., Osborne, N., Delatycki, M., Giles, G., English, D., Hopper, J., Simpson, J., Graves, S., Allen, K. and Cicuttini, Flavia M. (2011). HFE C282Y Homozygosity is associated with an increased risk of total hip replacement for osteoarthritis in men but not women. 2011 World Congress on Osteoarthritis, San Diego, CA United States, 15-18 September 2011. Oxford, United Kingdom: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/S1063-4584(11)60377-4

  • Nethercote, M., Heine, R., Osborne, N., Stevens, L., Davidson, D. and Allen, K. (2011). Management of eosinophilic esophagitis in a consecutive series of pediatric patients in an Australian tertiary referral centre. American-Academy-of-Allergy-Asthma-and-Immunology Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA USA, 18-22 March 2011. Philadelphia, PA USA: Mosby. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2010.12.439

  • Allen, K. J., Koplin, J. J., Almer, S., Dawson, D., Dang, T., Dharmage, S., Gurrin, L., Hill, D., Lowe, A., Matheson, M., Martin, P., Miles, L., Osborne, N., Ponsonby, A., Robertson, M., Slaa, M., Sutherland, M., Tan, T., Tang, M., Tey, D., Thiele, L. and Wake, M. (2011). Oral Food Challenges in 1 Year Old Infants Using Pre-Determined Challenge Criteria. American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA United States, March 18-22 2011. New York, NY United States: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2010.12.736

  • Martin, P. E., Osborne, N. J., Koplin, J. J., Gurrin, L. C., Wake, M., Tang, M. L., Matheson, M. C., Lowe, A. J., Dang, T., Tan, T., Anderson, D., Sutherland, M., Thiele, L., Miles, L., Ponsonby, A., Dharmage, S. C. and Allen, K. J. (2011). Season of Birth Modifies the Risk of Food Allergy in Infants with Eczema and Food Sensitization in HealthNuts: a Population-based Study. American-Academy-of-Allergy-Asthma-and-Immunology Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California, 18-22 March 2011 . Philadelphia, PA, United States: Mosby. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2010.12.143

  • Dharmage, S. C., Martin, P. E., Osborne, N. J., Koplin, J. J., Gurrin, L. C., Ponsonby, A., Tang, M. L., Matheson, M. C., Lowe, A. J., Dang, T., Tan, T., Anderson, D., Thiele, L., Sutherland, M., Miles, L., Wake, M. and Allen, K. J. (2011). The Epidemiology of Food Sensitization-Associated Eczema in Infancy in HealthNuts, a Population-based Study. American-Academy-of-Allergy-Asthma-and-Immunology Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California, 18-22 March 2011. Philadelphia, PA, United States: Mosby. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2010.12.151

  • Koplin, J., Osborne, N., Martin, P., Gurrin, L., Robinson, M., Slaa, M., Thiele, L., Miles, L., Dawson, D., Tan, T., Dang, T., Hill, D., Lowe, A., Matheson, M., Ponsonby, A., Tang, M., Wake, M., Dharmage, S. and Allen, K. (2010). Does age of introduction of foods affect the risk of having egg allergy? A population-based study of an infant cohort. 29th Congress of the European-Academy-of-Allergy-and-Clinical-Immunology (EAACI), London England, Jun 05-09, 2010. HOBOKEN: WILEY-BLACKWELL. doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2010.02393.x

  • Martin, P., Osborne, N., Koplin, J., Gurrin, L., Robinson, M., Thiele, L., Slaa, M., Miles, L., Dawson, D., Tan, T., Dang, T., Hill, D., Lowe, A., Matheson, M., Ponsonby, A., Tang, M., Wake, M., Dharmage, S. and Allen, K. (2010). Oral food challenge-confirmed food allergy occurs more frequently among infants with early-onset eczema than in those diagnosed after 8 months of age in HealthNuts, a population-based food allergy study. 29th Congress of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI), London, United Kingdom, June 5-9 2010. Hoboken, NJ United States: Wiley-Blackwell.

  • Osborne, N., Gurrin, L., Koplin, J., Martin, P., Robinson, M., Slaa, M., Thiele, L., Miles, L., Dawson, D., Dang, T., Hill, D., Lowe, A., Matheson, M., Ponsonby, A., Tang, M., Wake, M., Dharmage, S. and Allen, K. (2010). Prevalence of food challenge: confirmed food allergies in a large pediatric population based study in Melbourne, Australia. 29th Congress of the European-Academy-of-Allergy-and-Clinical-Immunology (EAACI), London, England, 5-9 June 2010. Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.

  • Osborne, N. J., Koplin, J. J., Gurrin, L. C., Gibson, M., Thiele, L., Miles, L., Aurich, K., Hill, D., Lowe, A., Matheson, M., Ponsonby, A., Tang, M., Dharmage, S., Wake, M. and Allen, K. (2009). Assessment of Sample Frame Validity After Pilot Recruitment for a Population Based Study of Infant Food Allergy. 65th Annual Meeting of the American-Academy-of-Allergy-Asthma-and-Immunology, Washington, DC United States, March 13-17 2009. New York, NY United States: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2008.12.406

  • Koplin, J. J., Osborne, N. J., Gurrin, L. C., Dharmage, S. C., Tang, M. L. K. and Allen, K. J. (2009). Knowledge of egg and peanut content of infant and maternal diets among parents of non-allergic 12-month-old infants. 65th Annual Meeting of the American-Academy-of-Allergy-Asthma-and-Immunology, Washington, DC USA, 13-17 March 2009. Philadelphia, PA USA: Mosby. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2008.12.943

  • Gurrin, L. C., Osborne, N. J., Koplin, J. J., Bertalli, N. A., Tang, M. L. K., Werther, R. and Allen, K. J. (2009). Positive Predictive Values of Skin Prick Test Wheal Size for Egg and Peanut Allergy by Statistically Combining Data from Clinic and Population-based Samples of 12 Month Old Infants. 65th Annual Meeting of the American-Academy-of-Allergy-Asthma-and-Immunology, Washington DC, 13-17 March 2009 . Philadelphia, PA, United States: Mosby. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2008.12.399

  • Allen, K. J., Koplin, J., Gurrin, L., Gibson, M., Thiele, L., Miles, L., Aurich, K., Hill, D., Lowe, A., Matheson, M., Ponsonby, A., Tang, M., Dhamage, S., Wake, M. and Osborne, N. (2009). Prevalence and environmental predictors of food allergy in infants. 65th Annual Meeting of the American-Academy-of-Allergy-Asthma-and-Immunology, Washington, DC USA, 13-17 March 2009. Philadelphia, PA USA: Mosby. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2008.12.395

  • Gurrin, Lyle C., Bertalli, Nadine, Dalton, Gregory W., Osborne, Nicholas, Constantine, Clare C., English, Dallas, Gertig, Dorota M., Delatycki, Martin, Hopper, John L., Giles, Graham, Anderson, Gregory J., Olynyk, John K., Powell, Lawrie W. and Allen, Katrina J. (2008). HFE-compound heterozygotes with serum ferritin < 1000 ug/l at age 65 are not at increased risk of hemochromatosis compared to HFE wild-type controls. 59th Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, San Francisco, CA United States, 31 October - 4 November 2008. Hoboken, NJ United States: John Wiley & Sons.

  • Allen, K. J., Gurrin, L. C., Osborne, N. J., Constantine, C. C., Delatycki, M. B., Nicoll, A. J., McLaren, C. E., Bahlo, M., Fletcher, A. S., Nisselle, A. E., Forrest, S., Vulpe, C. D., Anderson, G. J., Giles, G. G., English, D. R., Hopper, J. L., Olynyk, J. K., Powell, L. W. and Gertig, D. M. (2007). Healthiron: a longitudinal population study defining the burden of disease in HFE-associated hereditary hemochromatosis. 2007 International BioIron Society Meeting, Kyoto, Japan, 1-6 April 2007. Hoboken, United States: John Wiley & Sons. doi: 10.1002/ajh.20964

  • Osborne, N. J., Gurrin, L. C., Allen, K. J., Constantine, C. C., Delatycki, M. B., Nisselle, A. E., Fletcher, A. R., McLaren, C. E., English, D. R., Hopper, J. L., Giles, G. G., Olynyk, J., Nicoll, A., Powell, L. W. and Gertig, D. M. (2007). Homozygosity for the C282Y mutation in the HFE gene is associated with increased risk of colorectailand breast cancer in Australian population. 2007 International BioIron Society Meeting, Kyoto, Japan, 1-6 April 2007. Hoboken, United States: John Wiley & Sons. doi: 10.1002/ajh.20964

  • Gurrin, L. C., Allen, K. J., Osborne, N. J., Constantine, C. C., Delatycki, M. B., Nisselle, A. E., Fletcher, A. R., McLaren, C. E., Anderson, G. J., English, D. R., Hopper, J. L., Giles, G. G., Olynyk, J., Nicoll, A., Powell, L. W. and Gertig, D. M. (2007). Iron measures at baseline and follow-up from a longitudinal study of modifiers of hereditary haemochromatosis: the healthiron study. 2007 International BioIron Society Meeting, Kyoto, Japan, 1-6 April 2007. Hoboken, United States: John Wiley & Sons. doi: 10.1002/ajh.20964

  • Allen, Katrina J., Gurrin, Lyle C., Osborne, Nick J., Constantine, Clare C., Delatycki, Martin B., Nisselle, Amy E., Olynyk, John K., Nicoll, Amanda J., English, Dallasi R., Fletcher, Ashley S., Hopper, John L., Powell, Laurie W. and Gertig, Dorota M. (2006). The healthiron study: A longitudinal study of environmental modifiers of hereditary hemochromatosis. 57th Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, Boston, MA United States, October 27-31 2006. Hoboken, NJ United States: John Wiley & Sons.

  • Moore, M. R., Shaw, G. R., Osborne, N. J. and Eaglesham, G. K. (2005). Environmental toxicology of lyngbya majuscula in Australia. Eurotox 2005, -, 11-14 September 2005. Clare, Ireland: Elsevier.

  • Osborne, N., Webb, P. M., Moore, M. and Shaw, G. R. (2001). Environmental toxicology of the cyanobacterium Lyngbya spp.. IXth International Congress of Toxicology, Brisbane, 8-12 July, 2001. Ireland: Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

  • Osborne, N., Webb, P. M., Stewart, I. and Shaw, G. R. (2000). Human Toxicology and Epidemiology of the marine blue-green algal Lyngbya majuscula. 9th International Conference on Harmful Algal Blooms, Hobart, 7-11 February 2000. Hobart: University of Tasmania.

  • McNeill, D. M., Osborne, N., Komolong, M. K. and Nankervis, D. (1998). Condensed tannins in the genus Leucaena and their nutritional significance for ruminants. Workshop on Leucaena - Adaptation, Quality and Farming Systems, Hanoi Vietnam, February 9-14, 1998. Canberra ACT Australia: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.

  • Nankervis, D.C., Osborne, N.J. and McNeill, D. (1998). In vivo assessment of the ability of tannin to interfere with the digestion of protein post-ruminally. Australian Society of Animal Production, Brisbane, QLD, Australia, 1998. Toowong, QLD, Australia: The Australian Society of Animal Production.

Other Outputs

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.

  • This study will use the resources of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children to examine enviornmental risk factors of food allergy, atopy and asthma in Australian Children

    Recent reports from both Australia and the United States suggest that vitamin D might play a role in the recent increase in allergic disease, in particular food allergy. Using indirect markers of food allergy status, such as prescription of hypoallergenic formula, EpiPen (Dey Pharma, Basking Ridge, NJ) prescription, and emergency department admission4for probable food-induced anaphylaxis, they surmised that the further a person resides from the equator, the more likely he or she is to have food allergy. They further suggested that this could be possibly related to UV exposure, with those cities with the lowest ambient UV radiation likely to have the highest proportion of population with vitamin D insufficiency.

    Australia is particularly strongly placed to examine these associations. It has among the highest prevalences of challenge-proved food allergy, eczema, and asthma. It also has one of the longest north-south borders in the world, measuring approximately 4500 km from the North of Queensland to the South of Tasmania. It also has a nationally representative epidemiologic study, the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC), containing information on 2 cohorts of children on state of domicile; parental report of food allergy, eczema, and asthma; and potential confounders.

    To examine the how the relationship between mental health and asthma has changed in Australian generations and their different exposures, through the lens of a holistic spatial life course protocol. This will see the bringing together of a range of potential risk factors and confounders (documented and otherwise) of asthma. In addition selection of cases of asthma in the cohort will be assessed by multiple routes to increase the validity of case selection (beyond existing self-diagnosis).

    The study aims to move beyond examining the prevalence and risks of asthma exacerbation to tackle the underlying reason for the significant increase in this disease during the 1980-90s (Weiss and Wagener 1990, Taylor, Comino et al. 1997, Beasley 2002). A similar rise in food allergy has been witnessed globally in high income countries (Prescott and Allen 2011, Mullins, Dear et al. 2015) but limited evidence in LMICs (Hoyos-Bachiloglu, Escobar et al. , Loh and Tang 2018). While asthma and atopy are complex diseases with both genetic and environmental influences, both have increased in a short time, combined with data from emigrants suggesting higher rates of atopy in their adopted versus home countries suggesting the increase is due to environmental factors.

    Key Goals:

    1: In the selected cohorts we will examine if higher levels of stress are related to atopic disease outcomes

    2: To what extent does stress contribute to atopic disease compared with a range of environmental factors such as poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, traffic pollution, markers of adiposity, birth order?

    3: Is green space a confounder to the relationship between stress and atopic disease and will this alter with climate change?

    4: Are there critical periods in the lifecycle (e.g., Barker hypothesis, early childhood stress, adult onset) when exposure to stress programs the body to later onset of atopic disease?

    5: What is the relationship between biomarkers of stress, reported psychological stress and atopic disease?

    6: Work out an attributable risk of stress on atopic disease

  • Prediction of environmental conditions (pollen, pollution and weather) that lead to patients being hospitalised with asthma is possible from the large amounts of data being collected on a daily basis. Deriving the mathematics to do this is underway but more work needs to be done, especially in the Australian context. Another factor hindering prediction is that grass pollen, known to be the major culprit globally for inducing asthma, is only counted as a single entity, although it consists of hundreds of species. Our research will enable grass pollen to be examined more closely in the future, enabling better predictions to enable asthma patients to better manage their disease.

    This research will result in greater knowledge to improve the care of and outcomes for asthma sufferers both in Australia and internationally, using existing big data. It results from a trans-disciplinary approach, including international research partners, that will increase learning in both clinical and non-clinical settings. In the short-term findings will be immediately translatable to clinicians and their patients while in the long-term data produced will enter the evidence base to influence upcoming policy decisions on air pollution and other modifiable risk factors of respiratory disease. The models prepared will have cross cutting application to a range of fields in epidemiology. The potential of environmental DNA to be of interest to industry is high as new monitoring technologies come on line as our understanding of how we interact with our environment increases. The advent of personalised/stratified medicine over the next decade will see demand by clinicians and patient for more information on respirable allergens and this research will initiate a move in that direction using novel DNA metabarcoding. It has potential to achieve funding from both medical, non-medical and industry sectors.

  • Understanding the environment and its dynamic nature in a time of climate change and urbanisation is vital to reduce disease burden of chronic diseases that are increasing prevalent in both high and low to middle income countries.

    We have been examining the relationship between levels of individual grass pollens at 16 sites across the UK with data collected over 3 years.

    Several questions remain to be answered in this research. Firstly, our initial studies have examined measures at 16 sites across the UK. Pollen measures from the sites have been subsequently modelled and we wish in this studentship to use this modelled individual taxa grass pollen data with health data from across the UK to give us a better understanding of the associations between pollen and health outcomes.

    This work has seen the development of a novel, mechanistic grass species' pollen model. This will enable better prediction via models (existing air quality models ERF-Chem and HYSPLIT). This environmental data will then be examined in the context of hospital episode statistics and GP prescription data. In addition to the modelled pollen data other biological, meteorological and demographic variables will be assessed. This knowledge will feed into predictions on how prevalence and incidence of allergy and asthma episodes may change with changing environmental and demographic conditions into the future.

    Our findings will be examined in the both the Australian and UK contexts. We have been interacting with the Bureau of Meteorology Australia to pursue these concepts with available Australian data.

    This has most recently been seen in their collaboration with the PollerGEN research project (£1.2M NERC grant 2016-9) “Using molecular genetics to understand grass species pollen deposition: enhancing bio-aerosol models and implications for human health”.

    This PhD will allow additional data obtained in the research program to be analysed and concepts and ideas examined in the Australian context (most allergenic taxa are common to both countries) with the ability to compare and contrast to the UK scenarios. The benefits of this work in allowing patients to better manage their chronic lifelong diseases of asthma and allergy has commercial potential as well as ongoing academic research funding.

  • Air quality is a strong predictor of respiratory health. In comparison to traditional sources like industry, transport, open burning, bushfires, power plants, the contribution of plant pollen is not so well studied in the sub-tropical/arid climate. Residents in the subtropical regions show higher allergic sensitivity and subfamily-specific immunoreactivity with pollen of Chloridoideae and Panicoideae grasses, compared with temperate grass pollen. Therefore, knowledge of species and amount of pollen in air column is essential to preparing more accurate predictions of episodes when respiratory disease burden would be high and focusing public health efforts.

    We plan to examine what biologics are in the air column in Delhi and Brisbane as currently there is very little knowledge. Aerial dispersion of pollen gives an important snapshot of the biodiversity of the surrounding environment. New environmental DNA (eDNA) techniques allow samples of plant pollens and fungal spores to be collected and analysed using stored data (“DNA barcode” library) or other sequencing techniques allowing sapling of all genes in all organisms present in a complex sample via high-throughput molecular methods. This information, when combined with the next generation air quality models provides a variety of tools to examine the release, dispersion and transformation of bioaerosols and how it affects the environment. Further we expect to analyse the respiratory morbidity data from the two cities to understand the health risk of exposure to pollen.

    We will collect pollen at different times of year. Using eDNA techniques and light microscopy we will ascertain diurnal and seasonal fluctuations in pollen genera and species, and their relationship to human health outcomes.