Associate Professor Alexander Larcombe began work at the Telethon Institute in 2005 and is now a Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Respiratory Environmental Health team at the Wal-yan Respiratory Research Centre, a partnership between Telethon Kids Institute, Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation and Perth Children’s Hospital. He is also an Associate Professor in the School of Population Health, Curtin University.
During his time at the Institute, Associate Professor Larcombe has led many research projects, primarily investigating the physiological and developmental consequences of exposure to a range of environmental insults including:
- allergen exposure (particularly ovalbumin and house dust mite as models of allergic airways disease)
- respiratory viral infection (including rhinovirus and influenza)
- pollutants (including electronic cigarette aerosols, tobacco smoke, diesel/biodiesel exhaust and arsenic)
- climate change (including the impacts of increased atmospheric CO2).
Associate Professor Larcombe's research has shown how exposure to such insults in early-life (including in utero) can have significant impacts on lung growth and lung function, and lead to life-long respiratory disease.
The goals of his research are to establish and employ relevant models of respiratory dysfunction which can be easily manipulated to identify mechanisms of disease. Once likely mechanisms are fully identified, Associate Professor Larcombe employs interventional studies with the ultimate goal of reducing the impact of early-life respiratory system insults on lung function which, in the long term, will improve the health of children and families.