Professor John Upham

Affiliate Professor

The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute
Faculty of Medicine

Professor of Respiratory Med (Sec)

Princess Alexandra Hospital Southside Clinical Unit
Faculty of Medicine
j.upham@uq.edu.au
+61 7 344 38024

Overview

John Upham is a clinical scientist and physician with longstanding research interests in the immunological basis of asthma and chronic lung disease, the role of dendritic cells in allergy and virus infections of the lung, and the development of novel approaches to severe asthma treatment.

John is highly influential in his field, with > 160 publications, > 5,400 citations and an H index of 39. Since 2009, he has 112 publications (1st/senior author on 45%) with a Field-Weighted Citation Impact of 2.03. Moreover, 21.5% of publications are in the top 10% of most-cited publications worldwide (field-weighted). His publications have been cited in >20 different subject areas, demonstrating translation to fields other than Medicine. His research has international reach with citations in 80 countries (Scopus Dec 2018).

In the last 10 years, he has secured over $24 million in research funding. John has been awarded 8 NHMRC Project grants (4 as CIA in the last 5 years), 2 NHMRC CRE (“Closing the gap in Indigenous Lung Health” and “Severe Asthma”), and 1 NHMRC Development Grant. He currently holds NHMRC grants of $7.5 million, including $2.96 million as CIA. John was regularly an invited (9x), plenary (3x) and Chair (9x) at national and international conferences in the last 5 years. In recognition of his international standing and influence in the field, he was elected Fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (2004) and the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (2015).

Research Interests

  • Immune function and susceptibility to virus infections in asthma and COPD
  • Plasmacytoid dendritic cells
    Type I interferon production Immune regulation
  • Severe asthma: towards evidence-based assessment and management
  • Innate immunity and bacterial infections of the lungs
    Bronchiectasis and chronic suppurative lung disease in children Lung health in Indigenous children
  • Allergy and immune tolerance

Research Impacts

John is a key member of both the Severe Asthma CRE Management Committee and the Research Committee, and has played a leadership role in organising and co-chairing three recent national symposia on severe asthma to facilitate research collaboration, build research and clinical capacity, and improve models of care for severe asthma. He has been a member of multiple advisory boards to pharmaceutical companies, both international and national (AstraZeneca, GSK, Novartis, Nycomed, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Mundipharma, Menarini), and has provided advice to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee. His research has provided new treatment options for severe asthma, and guided the appropriate length of antibiotic treatment for Indigenous children with pneumonia, protracted bacterial bronchitis and bronchiectasis. John's research will inform best use of influenza vaccination in COPD, and guide the use of conjugate vaccines to improve immunity to Haemophilus in Indigenous children. He contributed to Clinical Practice Guidelines for the use of omalizumab and mepolizumab in Australia and he was part of the working group that prepared a web-based Severe Asthma Toolkit for the Severe Asthma CRE.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Western Australia

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

  • (2019) Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • Our program of translational research is focussed on the study of immune function and dysfunction in asthma, and host defence against respiratory viruses, especially human rhinoviruses. We are interested in the mechanisms leading to excessive airway inflammation in asthma, and why people with asthma are unusually susceptible to asthma attacks during respiratory viral infections. Our aim is to discover new therapeutic targets in severe asthma.

    Research Projects

    • The function of key immune cells such as antigen presenting cells and NK cells
    • The role of polarizing cytokines such as IL-33, IL-25 and TSLP in altering host defence against viruses.
    • How macrolide antibiotics alter immune function

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book Chapter

  • Upham, John W. and Yerkovich, Stephanie T. (2011). Interactions between allergens and dendritic cells: Pattern recognition receptors and their function in the pathogenesis of allergic respiratory diseases. In Marc A. Williams (Ed.), Allergens and respiratory pollutants : the role of innate immunity (pp. 245-275) Oxford, England: Biohealthcare Publishing.

  • Upham, John W., Stick, Stephen M. and Moodley, Yuben (2008). Lung cell biology. In Lynn M. Taussig and Louis I. Landau (Ed.), Pediatric respiratory medicine 2nd ed. (pp. 35-43) Philadelphia, USA: Mosby/Elsevier. doi:10.1016/B978-032304048-8.50008-6

  • Rate, A. and Upham, J. (2008). The Epithelium and Immunoregulation. In Proud, D. (Ed.), The Pulmonary Epithelium in Health and Disease (pp. 201-214) UK: John Wiley & Sons Ltd. doi:10.1002/9780470727010.ch11

  • Upham, J. W. and Hughes, T. (2006). Dendritic cells. In Geoffrey J. Laurent and Steven D. Shapiro (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Respiratory Medicine (pp. 10-15) Oxford: Elsevier Academic Press. doi:10.1016/B0-12-370879-6/00111-3

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Master Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision

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.

  • Our program of translational research is focussed on the study of immune function and dysfunction in asthma, and host defence against respiratory viruses, especially human rhinoviruses. We are interested in the mechanisms leading to excessive airway inflammation in asthma, and why people with asthma are unusually susceptible to asthma attacks during respiratory viral infections. Our aim is to discover new therapeutic targets in severe asthma.

    Research Projects

    • The function of key immune cells such as antigen presenting cells and NK cells
    • The role of polarizing cytokines such as IL-33, IL-25 and TSLP in altering host defence against viruses.
    • How macrolide antibiotics alter immune function