Translating today’s research into tomorrow’s treatments for the most common and lesser known respiratory diseases

We are one of the leading respiratory research units in the UK.

About 10,000 people in the UK are newly diagnosed with a lung disease every week. Approximately one in five people in the UK develop asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or another long-term respiratory illness.  Lung diseases are responsible for more than 700,000 hospital admissions and over 6 million inpatient bed-days in the UK each year.  Asthma alone is estimated to cost the NHS over £1 billion each year and lung diseases as a whole estimated to be in excess of £11 billion.

We are dedicated to delivering high quality, patient-centered research, in order to advance knowledge and improve health outcomes for people with respiratory conditions.

Our research areas

Our research areas include studies into:

  • Asthma – Asthma affects the tubes carrying air in and out of the lungs. People with asthma have sensitive airways which become irritated in some situations. The airways become narrow and sometimes produce more mucus than usual.
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)  – Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a group of lung conditions including bronchitis and emphysema. They make it difficult to empty air out of the lungs because airways have been narrowed. This group of conditions affects around 3 million people in the UK
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis and lymphangioleiomyomatosisWe are studying non-IPF chronic progressive fibrotic lung diseases to identify shared molecular endotypes or clinical phenotypes.
  • Interstitial lung disease Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is an umbrella term that covers many different conditions.
  • Lung Infection Pneumonia is swelling (inflammation) of the tissue in one or both lungs. It is usually caused by a bacterial infection.
    • Acute Infection
    • Chronic Infection
  • MRI is being used across all areas of our research

Our research team

To enable the high quality of our respiratory research we have the very best researchers, doctors, nurses, scientists, technicians and support staff together with state-of-the-art facilities. Find out more about our team members.

In addition, our partnerships and collaborations allow us to produce world leading translational respiratory research.

  • Professor Tim Harrison’s FAST study (published in the New England Journal of Medicine) examined quadrupling the inhaled glucocorticoid dose to abort asthma exacerbations.  This is likely to have a major impact on clinical practice.
  • Professor Gisli Jenkins led the PROFILE study the results of which were published in Lancet Respiratory. This research identified  AKAP13 as a genetic polymorphism, which leads to increased protein expression in the lung of patients with IPF. This protein can be targeted and the genetic information used to guide patient treatment.
  • The MyAsthma app, developed in Nottingham, is a Class I medical device intended for patients (or their carers) living with asthma. It is designed to help patients understand their asthma by providing environmental and lifestyle information that may be relevant to their condition, together with data indicating the status of their asthma. Patients or their carers have the ability to check and track their asthma control by using the Asthma Control Test (ACT) or the Childhood Asthma Control Test (C-ACT) as appropriate within the app, and they can export information from the app to share with their healthcare professional if they choose to do so.

Grants and awards

  • Professor Gisli Jenkins was awarded a prestigious National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research Professorship in October 2018. NIHR Research Professors are some of the country’s outstanding research leaders. The five-year, £1.7m award recognises Professor Jenkins’ pioneering work in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), a progressive lung disease with a worse outcome than most cancers.
  • Dr Dominick Shaw is leading the Nottingham contribution to a £2.68 million study to investigate the effective use of antibiotics to treat certain types of severe asthma. It is being spearheaded by researchers in Nottingham and Leicester.

Contact us

For more information or to talk to us about our research more please email us.

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Useful Links

Nottingham Severe Asthma Service

Nottingham University Hospitals ILD Services

Nottingham University Hospitals IPF Services

Nottingham IPF Support Group

British Lung Foundation