Researcher looks at slide

Summary of current research


  • Utilising information available in several national cohorts we are examining the role of seasonal variations in aeroallergens on respiratory and allergic disease.
  • 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. Plans are underway to see whether further follow-up is feasible.
  • Laboratory methods to understand the immunological mechanism of developing  occupational allergy along with a service for the diagnosis of occupational lung disease.


  • Application of state-of-art genetic and genomic approaches to investigate the major genetic asthma locus (chromosome 17q13) containing the genes ORMDL3 and GSDMB.  

Cystic Fibrosis

  • A series of epidemiological studies using information collected within the Cystic Fibrosis registry, and as part of the CF EPiNet; Harnessing Data to Improve Lives project.


  • Investigating the key epigenetic and transcriptional regulators of ear sensory epithelial regeneration with a view to treating deafness and balance disorders.


  • The molecular genetic and genomic alterations that lead to mesothelioma.
  • Molecular alterations leading to uveal melanoma and the specific changes that lead to metastasis.
  • Genomic and epigenetic studies to include lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma.

Occupational health

  • The Armed Services Trauma Rehabilitation Outcome (ADVANCE) Study investigates the long-term physical and psychosocial outcomes of battlefield casualties from the UK Armed Forces.
  • The Grenfell firefighters study, a long-term examination of the outcomes of attendance at the Grenfell fire.
  • A survey of respiratory health among farmers in Thailand with particular focus on their use of pesticides.
  • A randomised intervention study in textile mills in Karachi to test a simple method of reducing exposures to cotton dust
  • A series of studies to examine whether ‘tunnel dust’ is harmful to workers on the London Underground
  • The HSE-COPD study examines the occupational contribution to the causation of COPD; it is set within the UK Biobank cohort and is now being followed up with examination of understanding what genetic factors may make people more susceptible to the effects of these exposures.
  • 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.


  • Examining the functional consequences of mutations in CARD14 that we showed previously lead to psoriasis, and developing murine models that mimic the human disease.

Respiratory conditions

  • Using sequencing and analytical pipelines to examine bacterial, mycobacterial and fungal communities from a wide range of lung conditions.
  • The EU H2020 funded Ageing Lungs in European Cohorts (ALEC Study) has investigated 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 and is currently finalising an online risk prediction too for obstructive lung function.
  • 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). It has provided unique comparative data on burden and causes of low lung function and COPD across the world and these data will now be extended through ongoing follow-ups of participants.
  • 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. Including Dr Jennifer Quint's work with the HDR UK Data Research Hub BREATHE.
  • Metabolomics and systems medicine of reparatory conditions.
  • We are carrying out advanced research into the bacteria, fungi and viruses that inhabit healthy and diseased lungs (known collectively as the lung microbiome) in order to improve therapy for lung infections by better diagnosis, understanding of the effects of antibiotics on the microbial community, and finding new treatments.