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TSANZ Annual Conference

Media Release

TSANZ Annual Conference

23-28 March 2007
Sky City Convention Centre

The Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ) and the Australian and New Zealand Scientific Respiratory Society (ANZSRS) are to hold their combined annual conference in Auckland this year for the first time. The five day conference is regarded as Australasia’s most important for doctors, nurses, scientists, and physiologists interested in our most basic human function, breathing.

This conference aims to improve knowledge of respiratory science by increasing understanding among members therefore helping to improve treatment to all New Zealanders.

A major topic of the conference is ‘The Lung in Extreme Environments.’ The keynote speaker is Professor Kim Prisk, who will speak on ‘Lungs in Space’. Originally from New Zealand, Dr Prisk studied at Otago University before becoming a NASA scientist. The conference also includes an in-depth look into dive medicine as the conference focuses on the human body as we push the boundaries of our planet.

It is well known that New Zealand has one of the highest rates of asthma in the world and at one time the highest mortality rates. The TSANZ conference features three of the world’s top experts on asthma, including Professor Taylor from Dunedin, who will be focussing on new aids in improving the accuracy of the diagnosis and hence management of asthma. Local paediatrician Dr Innes Asher will also be leading a session on the influence socio-economic factors have on respiratory disease. New research will also be presented outlining how factors in early childhood development contribute to lung disease in later life.


Other New Zealanders speaking include Dr Andrew Veale, whose interest is in the diagnosis and management of obstructive sleep apnoea and snoring, and diving medicine and Professor Harry Rea who will be presenting the research trial results of a new humidified breathing device and on ways hospitals and general practitioners can work more closely to better manage patients with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, COPD and diabetes.

Other speakers include Dr Gary Lee, from Oxford University, who will speak about Pleural Diseases including the issues around asbestos related lung problems. Australian Dr Peter Van Asperen will update the meeting in relationship to ‘What's new in cough" and which remains the most common problem for which people seek their GP for advice. Professor Geoff McLennan from Iowa will be talking about new developments in CT scanning including its potential in screening for lung cancer.

Professor Mason Durie from Massey University will be delivering the Wunderly Oration this year. The New Zealander and member of Rangitane, Ngati Kauwhata and Ngati Raukawa tribes, is Professor of Maori Research and Development at Massey University. The Wunderly Oration honours the memory of Harry Wyatt Wunderly, the first Commonwealth Director of Tuberculosis.

Professor Prisk is a New Zealander, who graduated from the University of Otago in 1983. He has a fascinating background in the world of pulmonary physiology and has specialised in the health of astronauts going into space.

For more information on the TSANZ Conference or to interview any of the key speakers, please call Lauren Young and Associates on 09) 378 8433 or 027 243 9900. The full programme can be viewed at


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