Collin Brooks

Doctor of Philosophy, (Public Health)
Study Completed: 2014
College of Health


Thesis Title
Non-invasive assessment of airway inflammation in asthma

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Airway inflammation is believed to be the major cause of symptoms in asthma, but is infrequently assessed in the clinic.  In a series of studies, Mr Brooks developed and used non-invasive methods to investigate airway inflammation and examine the presence, characteristics, and stability of inflammatory asthma phenotypes in a New Zealand population sample. His results suggest that flow cytometry may be particularly useful for elucidating the role of rare inflammatory cell populations in asthma pathology. Furthermore, there was little evidence of airway inflammation in approximately 50% of asthmatics (both adults and children), although altered treatment resulted in phenotype changes in more than 50% of asthmatics. Further investigations of non-inflammatory mechanisms are warranted, as a better understanding of such mechanisms (and the associated environmental exposures involved) may guide the development of more effective management and treatment.

Professor Jeroen Douwes
Associate Professor Ian Hermans