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Assembly on Respiratory Structure and Function Ann Woolcock Memorial Award

Meet the 2022 Winner: Laura Walkup, PhD


Laura Walkup

Dr. Laura Walkup (she/her) earned her Ph.D. in chemistry in 2013 from Southern Illinois University Carbondale where her dissertation focused on the production of hyperpolarized xenon-129 gas for magnetic-resonance applications.  In 2013, she joined the Center for Pulmonary Imaging Research at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center as a postdoctoral fellow under the mentorship of Dr. Jason Woods, and in 2019, she joined their faculty as an assistant professor in the Division of Pulmonary Medicine and Department of Radiology with an affiliated appointment in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at University of Cincinnati.  Her research focuses on all aspects of hyperpolarized-gas MRI research, including technical developments for better 129Xe gas manufacturing, clinical protocol development and implementation, and translational applications in pediatric and adult lung diseases to quantify regional lung structure, function, and pathophysiology.  Dr. Walkup has ongoing collaborations spanning the spectrum of lung disease including asthma, cystic fibrosis, the childhood interstitial lung diseases, lymphangioleiomyomatosis, and NIH K99/R00 supported research in pulmonary complications following bone-marrow transplantation.  Dr. Walkup has co-authored 39 scientific papers and review articles and is an active member of the ATS Assembly on Respiratory Structure and Function, where she serves on the Planning Committee. She is interested in using MRI to understand rare-lung disease mechanisms and pathophysiology, longitudinal progression and natural history, and how MRI biomarkers can personalize clinical care and evaluate therapeutic response for individuals living with rare-lung disease.  

Award Description

This award honors the life of the late Ann Woolcock, M.B.B.S., F.R.A.C.P., A.O.,  of Sydney University.  Dr. Woolcock was an international leader in the field of asthma in areas of epidemiology, physiology and medicine.  The eligibility criteria for this award have been designed to reflect Dr. Woolcock's priorities during her long, prolific career.  The award is intended for all areas of research on obstructive airway disease.  It is further intended as recognition for overall accomplishment and future promise by a junior investigator.  Nomination of diverse candidates is encouraged.

The award consists of a certificate and an honorarium, which will be presented at the ATS International Conference.  RSF gratefully acknowledges GlaxoSmithKline and the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand for their support of this award.


  • Junior investigator at the rank of postdoctoral or medical fellow, assistant professor or equivalent
  • Normally RSF Assembly membership, but suitable candidates from other ATS Assemblies will be considered
  • More than one first-authored paper in a well-respected journal
  • Early career accomplishments and future promise
  • Research efforts in broad area of obstructive airway disease, which may include work at the basic, clinical, epidemiological or other levels
  • Nominee’s current curriculum vitae including a list of nominee’s publications
  • Nominator’s letter of recommendation

Nomination letter should describe nominee's:

  • Research contributions in broad area of obstructive airway disease
  • Future potential
  • Involvement in ATS, including any involvement in RSF Assembly
  • Service to the broader scientific or medical community, if applicable
  • Mentorship or teaching activities


Nominate Here


View Previous Award Recipients

2021 - Kimberley Wang, PhD. (The University of Western Australia)

2020 - Corrine Kliment, MD, Ph.D. (University of Pittsburgh)

2019 - Matthew Drake, MD (Oregon Health and Science University)

2018 - David Chapman, BSc, Ph.D. (Royal North Shore Hospital)

2017 - Pawan Sharma, Ph.D. (University of Technology)

2016 - Amir A. Zeki, MD (University of California, Davis)

2015 - Jeremy Alexander Hirota, BSc, Ph.D. (University of British Columbia)

2014 - Jin-Ah Park, Ph.D. (Harvard School of Public Health)

2013 - Cindy Thamrin, Ph.D. (Woolcock Institute of Medical Research)

2012 - Tillie-Louise Hackett, Ph.D., BS (St Pauls Hospital)

2011 - Graeme R. Zosky, Ph.D. (Telethon Institute for Child Health Research)

2010 - Reinoud Gosens, Ph.D. (University of Groningen)

2009 - Deepak Deshpande, D.V.M., Ph.D. (University of Maryland Baltimore)

2008 - David W Kaczka, MD, Ph.D. (John Hopkins Hospital)

2007 - Janette Burgess, Ph.D. (University of Sydney)

2006 - Steven An, Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins University)

2005 - Parameswaran Krishnan Nair, MD, Ph.D. (McMaster University)

2004 - Julia K.L. Walker, Ph.D. (Duke University)

2003 - John Fuller Hunt, MD (University of Virginia)

2002 - Debra Turner, Ph.D. (University of Western Australia)