Lung and Allergy Research Centre

The Lung & Allergy Research Centre (LARC) is focused on undertaking scientific research to understand the pathogenesis of asthma and other chronic pulmonary diseases, with particular interests in allergic inflammation and host defence against respiratory viral infections.

This past year has seen further growth in the Centre, and has been highly productive for all concerned with success in attracting research funding, multiple publications in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters, and a successful patent application.

Key achievements have included:

  • Investigating the importance of antigen presenting dendritic cells (DC) in the pathogenesis of human allergic disease, confirming the importance of DC in asthma.
  • Documentation of variations in the patterns of pollen allergy across different climatic regions of Australia.
  • Describing the key determinants of host defence against viral infections in chronic respiratory disease, with particular emphasis on the function of plasmacytoid dendritic cells and innate interferon production.

The research of the group is well supported with grants from NH&MRC, Queensland Government Smart State Scheme, The University and the Asthma Foundation of Queensland.

Our Vision is to understand how the immune system functions in health and disease in order to improve outcomes for people with asthma, allergies and chronic lung diseases. 

Our people

Prof. John Upham, MBD BS FRACP PhD FAAAAI   
Director, Lung & Allergy Research Centre
Ph: +61 7 3443 8024           Email:

Student research

Quality, innovative research is a major component of the UQ Medicine's commitment to world-class education and health outcomes. The Faculty of Medicine offers the postgraduate research degrees of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Master of Philosophy (MPhil).

Visit our Research Higher Degrees page for more information. 

Current projects

The Lung and Allergy Research Centre is actively involved in postgraduate supervision, and has numerous student research projects underway.

1. Protection against respiratory virus infections.
Supervisor: Prof John Upham
Contact: +61 7 3443 8024

Immune cells and structural cells in the lungs combine to provide protection against virus infections in healthy people. The project will examine how dendritic cells interact with the epithelial cells that line the airways to provide optimal immunity against respiratory viruses. 

2. Asthma, common cold viruses and the immune system.
Supervisor: Prof John Upham
Contact: +61 7 3443 8024

The common cold virus (human rhinovirus) is the most common trigger for flare-ups of asthma, but why an innocuous virus should cause major problems has long been a puzzle. The project will examine the function of dendritic cells and regulation of interferon in people with asthma.

3. How important are the tonsils?
Supervisor: Prof John Upham
Contact: +61 7 3443 8024

The tonsils are at the forefront of the immune system, and contain a variety of cells that provide protection against infections and may be important for tolerance to allergens. This project will examine the function of tonsil dendritic cells in children and adults.

4. Improving influenza vaccination for people with chronic lung disease.
Supervisor: Prof John Upham
Contact: +61 7 3443 8024

People with chronic lung disease are at increased risk of serious complications following influenza infection. The project will improve understanding of influenza vaccination and examine ways to make vaccination more effective.


Funds received through donations, gifts and bequests will help us stay at the cutting edge of research, and directly benefit our research programs which are to improve the health outcomes for people with asthma, allergies and chronic lung diseases, as well as benefit the general community.

If you would like to show your support, you can direct your donation to the Lung and Allergy Research Centre by completing The University of Queensland online donation form

To ensure your gift is directed towards the research programs within this Centre, please select "Other" on the online donation from and specify the Lung and Allergy Research Centre, under the Area of Funding.

The Lung and Allergy Research Centre team would like to thank the members of the public and organisations that have recognised our research efforts and continue to support our endeavours.  

Contact us

Lung and Allergy Research Centre
Level 5, Translational Research Institute (TRI)
37 Kent Street
Woolloongabba QLD 4102

Fax: +61 7 3443 7779

Professor John Upham
Phone: +61 7 3443 8024