Janette Burgess is a Rosalind Franklin Fellow, originally from Australia, who joined the Department of Pathology and Medical Biology, Medical Biology section at UMCG in 2015. Janette completed her Bachelor of Science (with honours) at the University of Adelaide in 1991 and her PhD at the University of New South Wales in 1998. In 1999 she was appointed to a Post-doctoral position at the University of Sydney under the guidance of Prof Judy Black. She has been awarded a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) (Australia) Peter Doherty training award (2000-2006), NHMRC R.D Wright Career Development Award (2006-2011) and a NHMRC Career Development Fellowship level 2 (2012-2015).
Janette’s research focusses on the role of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in lung pathology. She is intrigued by the changes in the tissue and airway structures of the lungs that occur during disease development and progression and wants to know if these changes are a cause or a consequence of the pathology. Working with primary human cells, human lung tissue samples and patient clinical information, the research seeks to characterize the changes in the ECM that occur during disease in the lungs and to understand the mechanisms that underlie these changes. By novel in vitro cell models, ex vivo human lung tissue models and advanced microscopy imaging techniques she is unraveling the complex nature of the regulation of the ECM and exploring its potential as a future target for therapeutic intervention. This research links basic science to the goods of prevention and treatment of human lung diseases that afflict millions of people worldwide.