Dr Alan James is a consultant respiratory physician at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and at Hollywood Private Hospital and Clinical Professor at the University of Western Australia. His research involves: a) the investigation of the role of airway smooth muscle and extracellular matrix in excessive airway narrowing in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); b) the genetic and environmental risk factors, and natural history of respiratory disease in populations, chiefly in The Busselton Health Studies. He is currently Chair of the Busselton Population Medical Research Institute and of the steering committee of the Busselton Healthy Ageing Study which will examine the combined effects of multi-morbidity on mental and physical function during ageing in a cohort of 5000 “baby boomers”. He trained in Western Australia and as a Canadian Research Fellow in Vancouver. He holds appointments at the University of Western Australia and Notre Dame University, has published over 200 journal articles, editorials and book chapters. His research is supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, the Asthma Foundation of Western Australia and the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Research Foundation.