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Personal profile

Overview

I am Professor of paediatric respiratory medicine based at the University of Manchester and at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital (50:50 split).

The academic part of my current post comprises of five sessions per week based at Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in South Manchester. I am part of the Division of Immunology, Immunity to Infection and Respiratory Medicine. My main research interest is Asthma and I am Asthma theme lead for the Manchester NIHR Biomedical Research Centre. As part of the Asthma theme we are focusing on asthma diagnostics, improving current tests and developing novel ones. I am chief investigator for a large observational asthma diagnostic study, RADicA (www.radica.org.uk). We are also investigating the role of environmental factors, including allergens and viruses in the development of asthma and allergic sensitisation and I am chief investigator of the Manchester Asthma and Allergy Study (www.maas.org.uk), a large birth cohort study set up in the mid 1990s to investigate the developement of asthma and allergic disease. In addition I have a strong interest in treatment options (both pharmacological and non-pharmacological) for asthma and severe asthma. I have an active role in the NIHR Greater Manchester Clinical Research Network. I am currently the Greater Manchester CRN Children's Research lead. I am also the chair of the NIHR Children's Respiratory and Cystic Fibrosis Clinical studies group.

The clinical part of my current post comprises of 5 sessions a week as a Consultant Respiratory Paediatrician at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. As part of a 7WTE consultant team we offer a secondary and tertiary paediatric respiratory service for the North West of England. This includes the investigation and management of children with conditions such as asthma, bronchiectasis, chronic lung disease of prematurity, tuberculosis and interstitial lung disease. In addition we run the Cystic Fibrosis service for Greater Manchester and offer a shared-care service for all children with Cystic Fibrosis in the North West Region by means of peripatetic clinics.

My particular interest is severe asthma and I lead the severe asthma service for Greater Manchester and the wider north west region. We have recently worked closely with the adult north west regional severe asthma service to develop a transition service for our adolescent patients with severe asthma. 

Biography

I qualified from Edinburgh University in 1990. I started training as a paediatrician in 1993 and worked/trained as a specialist registrar in paediatrics in the Mersey Deanery, specialising in respiratory paediatrics. I took time out from 1999 to 2001 to carry out research and was awarded my MD (Environmental allergens and childhood asthma) in 2002. I completed my training in 2003 and have been a consultant in paediatric respiratory medicine at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital since then. I was awarded a 5 year HEFCE clinical senior lectureship in August 2007 have been working a 50:50 clinical:research split between the University of Manchester and Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, since then.

Research interests

I entered full time research for a two year period in September 1999 at the University of Manchester , under the supervision of Professors Woodcock and Custovic. Working as part of the Manchester Asthma and Allergy Study (MAAS) team I completed my MD Thesis entitled “Environmental Allergens and Childhood Asthma” (awarded December 2002). After completing my clinical training and gaining my CCST in Respiratory Paediatric Medicine, I returned to work with the same research team as a Senior Clinical Research Fellow on a part time basis (5 sessions). I was awarded a 5 year HEFCE clinical senior lectureship in 2007.

As an independent investigator I have obtained competitive grant funding from independent sources (NIHR, North West Lung Centre Charity, Moulton Charitable Foundation, GSK Respiratory Research Award). My research interests are predominantly around improving care and treatment options for children with asthma. I have recently completed a randomised controlled trial of a parent based intervention to improve quality of life in young asthmatic children (NIHR RfPB funded). I have also conducted a large randomised controlled trial of mite avoidance in asthmatic children to establish whether this will improve exacerbation rates (Moulton Charitable Trust). This sucessful trial was recently published in AJRCCM. I am paediatric PI in a large european collaborative (UBIOPRED) which aims to establish phenotypes of severe asthma in both adults and children in order to tailor treatment appropriately (FP7 funded).

I have also continued to work as senior investigator on the Manchester Asthma and Allergy Study. Since the move of the chief investigator to Imperial College, I have taken on the role of PI for this large cohort study.  Within this cohort I have investigated the effects of obesity, diet and exercise on the development and symptoms of asthma and allergic disease. The cohort is supported by grants from Asthma UK, Moulton Charitable Foundation and MRC. As part of my ongoing interest in the effect of diet on asthma and allergic disease I am involved in a large european collaborative funded by the European Commision (FP7) "Food-based solutions for Optimal vitamin D Nutrition and health through the life cycle - ODIN". This will allow us to investigate the role of Vitamin D in asthma and allergic disease within the MAAS cohort.

Our new programme of work is around the diagnosis of asthma. We have already investigated this within the MAAS cohort study, but as part of the the Manchester BRC programme of work we plan to investigate this further in patients presenting for the first time with respiratory symptoms. This work will start in early 2018.

 

 

Teaching

I regularly take part in teaching 4th Year medical students when they are attached to Royal Manchester Children's Hospital for their paediatric placement. I take "meet the expert" tutorials at RMCH teaching paediatric respiratory medicine. I usually take 1-2 project option students each year for either research or audit projects. I am an academic advisor to medical students at different stages of their training.

I also take part in post graduate training of qualified doctors who are specialising in paediatrics and respiratory paediatrics. I participate in teaching of General practicioners and specialist nurses.

I supervise PhD and MPhil students.

My collaborations

Professor Peter Callery (professor of children's nursing, Manchester)

Dr Rachel Calem (Professor in clinical psychology, Manchester)

Professor Iain Bruce (ENT, Manchester)

Professor Jackie Smith (Cough, Manchester)

Professor Iain Buchan (Professor of Bioinformatics)

Professor Adnan Custovic (professor of Allergy, Imperial College)

Professor Sejal Segani (Profesor of paediatric respiratory medicine, Imperial College)

Dr Louise Flemming (Senoir lecturer in paediatric respiratory medicine, Imperial College)

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

British Medical Association

British Thoracic Society

British Paediatric Respiratory Society

British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology

European Respiratory Society

Northern Paediatric Respiratory Forum

Respiratory Effectiveness Group

Methodological knowledge

  • Audit 
  • Epidemiology
  • Qualitative
  • Quantitative
  • Randomised control trials/experimental studies

I also have expertise in involving children in research

Qualifications

MB ChB (University of Edinburgh)

MD (Universityof Manchester)

MRCP (UK)

MRCPCH

CCST in Paediatrics (Subspeciality - Respiratory medicine)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Medicine, Environmental allergens and childhood asthma, The University of Manchester

Award Date: 16 Dec 2002

Bachelor of Medicine, The University Court of the University of Edinburgh

1 Oct 198529 Jun 1990

Award Date: 29 Jun 1990

External positions

President Elect Manchester Paediatric Club , Manchester Medical Society

10 Oct 20189 Oct 2019

Research review committee, Asthma UK

Jan 2018 → …

research consultation committee, Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health

Dec 2017 → …

steering committee member, Manchester Medical Society

Oct 201610 Oct 2018

Greater Manchester NIHR Clinical research network Children's research lead

1 Apr 201531 Mar 2019

Paediatric lung conditions advisory board, British Lung Foundation

Jan 2015 → …

Chair of NIHR Children's Respiratory and Cystic fibrosis clinical studies group

Oct 2014 → …

Research review committee, Asthma UK

Dec 2012Jun 2015

Areas of expertise

  • R Medicine (General)
  • paediatrics, respiratory

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures
  • Lydia Becker Institute

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