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Contact


Professor Sir Anthony Newman Taylor
Lead academic
+44 (0)20 7594 7989
a.newmant@imperial.ac.uk

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What we do

We investigate the burden, cause, management and prognosis of respiratory health within the general population and within the workforce (including the military) in the UK, Europe, and in low and middle income countries. Our work is largely related to asthma, allergies, lung function, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchiectasis and cystic fibrosis but for occupational factors extends to asbestosis, mesothelioma, interstitial fibrosis and hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Most, but not all, of our research is related to adult respiratory health, including the effects of ageing.  We have skills in respiratory epidemiology, occupational epidemiology, genetic epidemiology, environmental epidemiology, statistical methods, use of routinely collected electronic health records, public health and laboratory-based methods for investigation of occupational exposures. 

Why it is important

Poor respiratory health and respiratory disease are a major cause of morbidity in children and adults worldwide, and a major predictor of mortality in adults. Some of the factors that lead to poor respiratory health and respiratory disease are preventable, and effective treatment may reduce the impact of disease on patients’ lives – our research aims to improve the knowledge base on which public health and occupational policy can be based. 

Impact of our research

Our research on asthma and COPD were central for the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) estimates 2010, and the group continues to lead and contribute to major national and international efforts to improve knowledge and management of respiratory disease through state-of-the-art epidemiological research. This includes expertise in the use of electronic health record data. In addition, we contribute to prevention strategies for protecting the health of the workforce and are home to the largest national referral service for occupationally related respiratory disease. Our Lungs at Work clinic helps patients with lung conditions caused by our affecting their work, and breathing difficulties related to the wider environment outside work.

Summary of current research

  • The EU H2020 funded Ageing Lungs in European Cohorts (ALEC Study) investigates risk factors (genetics, peripheral blood DNA methylation, environment and lifestyle) for low lung function and respiratory disability in European Adults using data from large scale population based surveys in UK and overseas.
  • The ADVANCE study, the world’s most detailed study of the long-term effects of serious blast injury, examines impacts on cardio-respiratory health in UK servicemen.  Findings will have applicability to the very large number of civilian casualties across the globe. 
  • The BOLD study has surveyed over 40,000 people in 44 centres in 36 countries (15 centres in high-income countries, 9 in upper middle-income countries, 17 in low middle-income countries and 3 in low-income countries). The study provides unique comparative data on burden and causes of low lung function and COPD across the world.
  • The European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS) is a cohort study across multiple European Research sites in which over 10,000 adults have been followed for over 20 years to examine respiratory health, including allergic disorders.
  • Using genetic data available within our collaborative networks we investigate genetic determinants of lung function and disease, including Mendelian randomization studies, where genes are used as instrumental variables to assess causal effects of modifiable risk factors on disease.
  • Using the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD), Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), Myocardial Infarction National Audit Project (MINAP) and temperature and pollution data from DEFRA and BADC we are investigating the role of environmental exposures on COPD exacerbations as well as the relationship between common cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.
  • Using information collected within the Cystic Fibrosis registry we provide annual summaries for the CF Trust,  and as part of the CF EPiNet; Harnessing Data to Improve Lives project we are conducting a quality of life survey for people living with CF.
  • The HSE-COPD study examines the occupational contribution to the causation of COPD; it is set within the UK Biobank cohort.
  • The SPIRAL study investigates risks of occupational allergy in the modern world of laboratory animal research .
  • The IPF-JES study is assessing the role of asbestos exposure in the aetiology of ‘idiopathic’ pulmonary fibrosis and the extent to which this is modified by genes.
  • We exploit advanced statistical methods, mainly developed using a Bayesian framework, to address complex issues related to evidence synthesis in our epidemiological and genetic epidemiological work.
  • Laboratory methods to understand the immunological mechanism of developing  occupational allergy along with a service for the diagnosis of occupational lung disease.

Connections

Collaborators

The group conducts highly collaborative research and has close links with multiple universities and research groups in UK, Europe and low and middle-income countries including:

UK

Europe and Australia

Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC)

  • Philippine College of Chest Physicians
  • Jagadguru Sri Shivarathreeshwara University (Mysore, India)
  • K.E.M Hospital Research Centre (Vadu, India)
  • Indian Institute of Environmental Medicine (Mumbai, India)
  • Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (Srinigar, India)
  • The Epidemiological Laboratory (EpiLab) (Khartoum, Sudan)
  • Karachi Aga Khan University (Pakistan)
  • Kyrgyz National Centre Of Cardiology And Internal Medicine (Kyrgyzstan)
  • Ibn El Jazzar de Sousse (Tunisia)
  • Annaba University Badji Mokhtar Annaba (Algeria)
  • Algiers Centre Hospitalo- Universitaire Mustapha (Algeria)
  • Université Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah (Fez, Morocco)
  • Université d’Abomey - Calavi ( Sèmè-Kpodji, Benin)
  • Obafemi Awolowo University (Ife-Ife Nigeria)
  • Hôpital General de Doula (Limbe, Cameroon)
  • Centre de Recherches Medicales de Lambaréné (Gabon)
  • University of Cape Town Lung Institute (South Africa)
  • University of West Indies (Kingston, Jamaica)

Related Centres and Facilities

PhD students

We welcome new PhD students. If you wish to discuss joining our group to complete a PhD please contact m.wheatley@imperial.ac.uk or any of our named supervisors for advice.

You can also browse our list of current PhD students and their projects.

For patients

Anyone who is seeking help and advice regarding occupational respiratory diseases should go to our clinical website Lungs at Work.

Our staff


Our researchers