Dr Anthony De Soyza
Clinical Senior Lecturer/Consultant

  • Email: anthony.de-soyza@ncl.ac.uk
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 191 2227043 or 2137468 (clinical)
  • Fax: +44 (0) 191 208 7038
  • Address: Institute of Cellular Medicine
    Newcastle University
    Medical School
    Framlington Place
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    NE2 4HH

Introduction

I am an Academic Clinician / Physician-Researcher and an Honorary Consultant Physician at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. My interests are in both early (discovery) and late (first into man – clinical implementation)  translational gaps.

I lead a group looking at bacteria, chronic lung infections and use both basic science approaches and clinical trials activity to tackle these.

I led a successful bid for a MRC Partnership grant in a multicentre approach to Bronchiectasis and will set up the UK national registry in bronchiectasis "BRONCH-UK" 2014-2017

I also lead a clinical trials unit based at Freeman Hospital which has globally leading recruitment rates.  My particular interest in respiratory clinical trials means I am heavily involved in investigator led and commercial/industry trials of new therapies in bronchiectasis and COPD. I have undertaken UK Chief Investigator roles and recently started International lead investigator roles. These activities map to my role working for the UK National Institute for Health research Clinical trials network as Deputy Chair to Prof Peter Calverley for the National Respiratory group. 

Both areas of work map to my interest in pulmonary infections. A focus on Gram negative infections in Cystic Fibrosis formed part of my early (PhD) research. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) biological activity and LPS structure to function correlation has formed part of more recent work. I also research inflammatory pathways, biomarkers and am developing in vitro models for studying these.  I am VC of a multinational COST action in Cystic fibrosis pathogens (COST action BM1003) and led a consensus approach to developing an International reference panel of Pseudomonas strains.

 

My clinical services map to the above themes with increasing interests in managing both severe Bronchiectasis and COPD. I run a service in endobronchial lung volume techniques for severe emphysema and am developing services for alpa-1-antitrypsin deficiency

Outline of Research Interests

My main interest is in pulmonary infections, their consequences and how to manage patients with such infections better.

A focus on Gram negative infections in Cystic Fibrosis has formed part of my early research. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) biological activity and LPS structure to function correlation has formed part of more recent work. Clinical research in bronchiectasis and severe smoking related lung disease (COPD) is underway in collaboration with many clinical and academic colleagues;

Collaborations 

  1. BRONCH-UK 9 Bronchiectasis centres across the UK plus 5 academic experts from other disciplines
  2. Lipopolysaccharide and Peptidoglycan; Prof Molinaro Naples, Prof W Vollmer & Dr CMA Khan, Newcastle
  3. Pseudomonas biology and reference panel/ cross infection: Prof Craig Winstanley Liverpool,  Dr S MacClean Dublin
  4. Bronchiectasis network- EMBARC- a European network for bronchiectasis- in set up
  5. Bronchiectasis severity index group- S Aliberti, Milano, L DuPont/ P Goeminne Leuven Belgium, J Chalmers Dundee, A Hill Edinburgh
  6. Biogerontology; J Passos and T vonZglinicki, Newcastle
  7. Microbiome and Phages-  C van der Gast, NERC, UK  & S Cummings, C Lanyon & D Smith Northumbria University
  8. Bronchiectasis and Rheumatoid group - L Perry, P Eggleton Exeter University, P Venables Oxford
  9. Neutrophils and Bronchiectasis- J Simpson & J Isaacs
  10. Pseudomonas and epithelial Dysfunction- AJ Fisher, L Borthwick

Collaborations with Industry & SMEs are not listed but enquiries welcome

Current Work

  1. Structure and biological activity of LPS extracted from pathogens infecting patients with a variety of respiratory conditions (Cystic Fibrosis, Bronchiectasis and COPD).
  2. Identifying "at risk" groups such as those with Bronchiectasis and comorbid Rheumatoid arthritis / applying prognostic scoring indices 
  3. Biomarkers of disease activity
  4. Airway pathogens virulence, microbiome and bacteriophages
  5. Accelerated aging and the lung "Inflammaging"

Current Grants

  1. I am the lead applicant on the £700K MRC Funded Partnership grant in bronchiectasis "Bronch -UK" starts October 2014
  2. I am a co-applicant on the 2.2MHealth Technology Assessment grant TWICS trial  https://w3.abdn.ac.uk/hsru/twics/
  3. I cowrote and am Vice Chair  of the EU Cost action BM1003 (EU500,000)
  4. I supervise 3 PhD students funded via the NIHR and MRC 
  5. Industry funding of over £100,000 on Bronchiectasis projects

Prior grants

Wellcome Clinical Training Fellowship 2001-2003 (work led to 4 publications) Funded £138,000
HEFCE award £250,000 2007-2012

GSK investigator led grant £10K 2008
FFC Charity grant £24,000 2009 3 prior publications

Newcastle Hospital Special Trustees 2005-2006
(2 Publications) Funded £38,000
I co-supervised a technician continuing research themes from the Wellcome Trust grant.

Higher Education Council For England Senior Lecturer Award
5 Year Tenure University of Newcastle
Funded £250,000 over 5 years towards wages. This post is complemented with a 50% clinical component funded by Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals Trust (multiple publications).

Research Roles

  1. Principal Investigator (bench and trials roles),
  2. National/ Global Chief Investigator 

Postgraduate Supervision

The post-graduate supervision of research candidates started in October 2007. Three MRES students have completed to merit/distinction levels and publications arisen through this

4 PhD students are under supervision / in write up.

Esteem Indicators

3M Pharmaceuticals Small Airways Research Prize 1999
University of Newcastle, School of Medicine Annual Research presentation, First prize, 2000
Wellcome Trust Clinical Training Fellowship,Sep 2001 - October 2003
British Lung Foundation Young Investigator of the Year 2003
One of two national HECFE award winners in Respiratory Medicine 2007

VC of COST BM1003 a European network 2010-14

National Industry lead for NIHR specialty group 2012-date

Deputy Chair of NIHR national Respiratory specialty group 2011-4

Industrial Relevance

Significant input into UK clinical trials by recruitment at Sir William Leech Trials Centre.
Prior UK Chief Investigator duties undertaken
Facilitated Industrial contact with UKCRN adoption process improving trials throughput
Co supervisor to Wellcome Translational PhD student part funded by AstraZeneca

Keywords

Cystic Fibrosis, microbiology, bronchiectasis, lipopolysaccharide, virulence, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Burkholderia, cepacia, cenocepacia, COPD

Projects

  • CBT for COPD Study
    Project Leader(s): Karen Heslop, Dr Graham Burns, Dr Anthony De Soyza
    The trial is funded through a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Fellowship.

Undergraduate Teaching

Prior MRES student supervision / cosupervision Syba Sunny, S Maloney, J Birch
3 Biology honours undergraduates B Johnson, K Laws and I Laher

Postgraduate Teaching

  1. Academic clinical fellow Dr H Jary
  2. CoSupervisor to Dr L Moisey
  3. Lead supervisor to Jodie Birch MRC MRES/PhD
  4. Co Supervisor to Dr M McDonell/ M Friel
  5. Lead Supervisor for K Heslop (NIHR PhD Fellow)
  6. Lead supervisor to K Hester (NIHR PhD Fellow) 

 

I also lead module 3 in the PG Clin Certificate in Clinical Research