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.