The University of Western Australia
Associate Professor Tulic researches allergic diseases which are the most common disorders of childhood. 40% of Australian children develop allergic sensitisation and many of them develop allergic disease, including asthma. How is the developing immune system programmed and how is it modified by modern environmental changes like reduced exposure to bacteria during early life?
For the first time, Meri has done a longitudinal study into humans and our normal development of innate microbial responses over the first five years of life – her findings have significantly advanced our understanding of allergic diseases and are likely to contribute to better targeted treatment and prevention and have demonstrated how the timing of bacterial exposure have critical implications for immune development translating into novel concepts that lead to a paradigm shift in the pathogenesis of allergic disease and potential novel targets for disease prevention and treatment.