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Howard Mitchell

Professor, PhD W.Aust.

  • The University of Western Australia (M309), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


  • 1038 Citations
  • 19 h-Index
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Personal profile


Professor Howard Mitchell sat his membership examinations for the Institute of Biology at London Polytechnic and Chelsea College. He completed his PhD at UWA before taking a Fellowship position at the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University. Prof Mitchell then lectured at the University of Sheffield in England. He moved back to UWA in 1984 to continue his teaching and reseach. Prof Mitchell was recently an invited speaker at a number of specialist international meetings and most recently gave a Keynote Address at the International Symposium on Smooth Muscle.

Prof Mitchell has taken sabbatical leave at the Univeristy of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Kings College London, and the National Heart and Lung Institute, London.

Funding overview

The laboratory has received nearly continuous funding from NH&MRC since the late 1980's. Further support has been provided by the Asthma Foundation of WA.

Teaching overview

PHYL2255 Physiology of Human Body Systems
PHYL3350 Physiological Control Methods
IMED1100 Normal Systems


As a respiratory physiologist, Prof Mitchell researches the control of the bronchial tree and airways, especially in diseases such as athsma. His interests include structure-function relationships, neural and pharmacological control of airway smooth muscle and the lung development.

Healthy people subconciously control their airways by taking a deep breath every few minutes to keep the airways open. However, this does not occur in people with asthsma or other lung diseases. Prof Mitchell's current research aims to understand exactly how and why this occurs. Most reseach up to this point has been undertaken on animal models, but research is now beginning that will test out some of their hypotheses of lung disease using lungs donated by surgical patients. This could potentially lead to improved understanding and treatment of lung disease.


Dr Peter McFawn, Lecturer, Discipline of Physiology, BBCS, UWA
Prof Alan James, adjunct Associate Professor in Medicine and Pharmacology and consultant physician at QEII
Prof Kenneth Lutchen, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Boston


  • Airway development
  • Airway smooth muscle
  • Respiratory physiology

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Projects 1996 2010

Research Output 1992 2016

2 Citations

Airflow obstruction is associated with increased smooth muscle extracellular matrix

Jones, R. L., Noble, P. B., Elliot, J. G., Mitchell, H. W., McFawn, P. K., Hogg, J. C. & James, A. L., 2016, In : European Respiratory Journal. 47, 6, p. 1855-1857 3 p.

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Commentaries on Viewpoint: Airway smooth muscle and airway hyperresponsiveness in human asthma: Have we chased the wrong horse?

Noble, P., Bates, JHT., Seow, CY., Brusasco, V., Skloot, G., Mcfawn, P., Mitchell, H., Ansell, T., Pellegrino, R., Togias, A. & Scichilone, N., 2014, In : Journal of Applied Physiology. 116, p. 1116-1118

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Open Access
1 Citations

Pause for deep inspiration

Noble, P., Mcfawn, P., Mitchell, H. & Ansell, T. K., 2014, In : Journal of Applied Physiology. 116, 8, p. 1116

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

Open Access