Professor of Paediatric Respiratory Medicine, Imperial College London, Honorary Consultant, Royal Brompton Hospital, UNITED KINGDOM
My research focusses on the investigation of mechanisms underlying the inception of severe asthma and preschool wheeze in children, finding novel therapies to improve control, reduce exacerbations and to achieve disease modification. I have developed a programme of research that is translational, involving an integrated approach to answering questions using both bronchoscopic airway samples from carefully clinically phenotyped children coupled with an age appropriate neonatal mouse model.
I have expertise in assessing airway remodelling in endobronchial biopsies from children with severe asthma and preschool wheeze and an important focus of my research is investigation of the mechanisms underlying the development of airway remodelling in asthma. The lack of therapeutics for remodelling is a significant unmet need. In addition to the early changes of remodelling in preschool children, I have shown that vitamin D deficiency in paediatric severe asthma is associated with increased airway smooth muscle remodelling, and that increased IL-33 in severe asthma is associated with increased collagen deposition, thus uncovering potential novel therapeutic targets to minimise airway remodelling in paediatric asthma. Combined investigations using my neonatal mouse model and paediatric bronchoscopic airway samples, has led to a research programme that allows the investigation of mechanisms underlying the onset of severe preschool wheeze, factors that determine progression to childhood asthma with the ultimate aim of identifying disease modifying therapies for preschool wheeze and childhood severe asthma.