I am an MRC Clinician Scientist and Clinical Senior Lecturer in the Respiratory Medicine grouping, Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University, where I am a principal investigator with an active children's respiratory group involving laboratory-based airway biology and clinical paediatric respiratory research. Please click on the research tab above for further details.
I am an academic clinician working as an Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Respiratory Medicine at the Great North Children's Hospital (GNCH) and the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne. My clinical interests include cystic fibrosis (large regional service with Drs Chris O'Brien, Matt Thomas and Jen Townshend) and cardiopulmonary transplantation. I also have a general respiratory clinic jointly with Drs Mike McKean and Jen Townshend.
BSc (Hons), MB ChB, MRCPCH, PhD
Roles and responsibilities
- Associate Editor BMC Pulmonary Medicine
- Member British Thoracic Society Standards of Care Committee
- Member University Ethics Committee
- Member British Paediatric Respiratory Society Executive Committee, trainee representative, 2010-13
- Member Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Paediatric Respiratory Medicine CSAC, trainee representative, 2010-13
- Wellcome Trust Elective Prize, 2000
- Joint Medical Research Council/Cystic Fibrosis Trust Clinical Research Training Fellowship, 2008
- Best oral presentation: Northern Paediatric Research and Development Conference, 2008
- British Lung Foundation Travel Fellowship, 2008
- Cystic Fibrosis Trust Travel Award, 2009
- Best poster: Institute of Cellular Medicine and Institute of Ageing and Health Research Day, 2009
- Best oral presentation: Academic Paediatrics Association, 2009
- Medical Research Council, supplementary travel award, 2010
- European Respiratory Society Bursary for the 8th ERS Lung Science Conference, 2010
- British Paediatric Respiratory Society Travel Award, European Cystic Fibrosis Society Conference, 2012
- Medical Research Council Clinician Scientist Fellowship, 2015
Respiratory conditions are the most common reason for acute paediatric admissions in the UK and account for more than half of all long-term illnesses in children and young people.
Our programme of research is focused on increasing the understanding of childhood respiratory disease and importantly translating these findings in to the development of new treatments and improved delivery of care for children and young people with lung problems.
Current projects span from laboratory-based basic science to major national epidemiological studies, a brief synopsis appears below.
Our work is funded by the Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Academy of Medical Sciences, United Kingdom Clinical Research Network, Newcastle Hospitals Special Trustees and an investigator-led grant from Pfizer. We welcome contact from any students or potential collaborators who may be interested in working with the group.
Investigating the pathogenesis of CF lung disease to inform the development of new treatment strategies is the major focus of our research. We aim to ask the most clinically meaningful questions possible. Our approach to answer these involves combining innovative experimental techniques with clinical samples from children and people with CF. Current projects include:
- Mechanisms of inflammation and infection in the CF airway - with special emphasis on the role of disordered sphingolipid metabolism (RA, Dr Aaron Gardner)
- Abnormal airway surface liquid homeostasis including the role of non-CFTR transporters (Clinical Research Fellow, Dr Iram Haq; collaboration with Dr Mike Gray)
- Contribution of gastro-oesophageal reflux and aspiration as an airway injury in CF (collaboration with Dr Chris Ward)
- Development of primary airway epithelial cell culture models as a model to study CF lung disease (collaboration with Dr Chris Ward)
Pneumonia, pleural infection and empyema
- Aetiology of community acquired pneumonia in children
- Epidemiology of childhood pleural infection and empyema, including national surveillance
- Collaboration with Dr Matt Thomas; Clinical Research Fellow, Dr Alice Wort
- Study of airway physiology associated with non-invasive respiratory support and high flow nasal cannula oxygen in neonates and young children
- In collaboration with Drs Chris O'Brien (Paediatric Respiratory), Alan Fenton and Sundip Harigopal (Neonatology); Clinical Research Fellow, Dr Zheyi Liew
Asthma and pre-school wheeze
- Systematic reviews of treatments
Collaborators and mentors
- Internal, Newcastle University: Respiratory Medicine: Dr Chris Ward, Prof John Simpson, Prof Paul Corris, Dr Tony de Soyza, Prof Andy Fisher, Dr Lee Borthwick. Epithelial Research Group: Prof Jeff Pearson, Dr Mike Gray. GNCH: Dr Matt Thomas, Dr Mike McKean, Dr Chris O'Brien, Dr Samantha Moss, Dr Alan Fenton, Dr Sundeep Harigopal
- External: Prof Stuart Elborn and Prof Cliff Taggart, Queen's University Belfast. Prof Alain Brunelle and Prof Mario Ollero, INSERM, Paris. Prof Erich Gulbins, University of Essen. Dr Albert Koulman, MRC Human Nutrition Research, Cambridge. Dr Paul McNamara, University of Liverpool
- May 2015: MRC Clinician Scientist Fellowship. £1.3 million
- April 2014: 'INOVCF - Innovative non-CFTR Approaches for Cystic Fibrosis Therapy' Co-Investigator. CF Trust. £750,000
- April 2014: 'CF Trust Clinical Research Co-ordinator' with Dr Simon Doe and Dr Anthony de Soyza
- March 2014: 'The impact of a conjugate pneumococcal vaccine (Prevenar 13) on the epidemiology and aetiology of childhood pneumonia in the North East of England' Investigator-Initiated Study, Pfizer. £300,00
- April 2012: 'Mucus permeating nanoparticulate drug delivery systems' Project Alexander EU FP7. €15.5 million (with Prof JP Pearson, Newcastle University split €830,000)
- Dec 2011: ‘Functional characterisation and pharmacological manipulation of airway sphingolipids in cystic fibrosis’ Wellcome Trust/Academy of Medical Sciences: £29,921.60
- Nov 2011: ‘Functional characterisation and pharmacological manipulation of airway sphingolipids in cystic fibrosis’ Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Charity (the Trustees): £24,352.10
- Nov 2011: FSF funding for Dr Jane Falconer, post-doctoral researcher salary. Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: £12,095
- Apr 2009: ‘Investigating epithelial cell and dendritic cell interactions in cystic fibrosis’ Newcastle Hospitals Special Trustees: £50,000
- Jun 2008 ‘The culture of primary bronchial epithelial cells from cystic fibrosis lungs – a model to investigate the role of Interleukin-17 in cystic fibrosis lung disease’ Inaugural recipient of the only personal Joint Medical Research Council/Cystic Fibrosis Trust Research Training Fellowship: £132,084
- Mar 2007 ‘An investigation in to the role of interleukin-17 in cystic fibrosis lung disease’ Newcastle Hospitals Special Trustees: £50,000
I am involved in the clinical teaching of medical students in paediatrics at GNCH.
I am the departmental organiser for undergraduate medical student SSC projects in paediatric respiratory medicine and welcome anyone contacting me who may be interested.