Sub-Theme Leaders: Fergus Gleeson, Peter Robbins, Ling-Pei Ho
Key Researchers: David O’Neill, Graham Richmond, Chaitanya Vuppusetty
In order to move away from the one-size-fits-all approach we need methods that will allow us to distinguish between the different types and causes of lung disease. Our aim is to develop new techniques, tools and biomarkers to better classify these conditions to allow more accurate assessment and more focussed and effective treatments.
This sub-theme aims to improve methods for the stratification of lung disease and to better match patients with novel therapeutics by:
- Utilising novel xenon-imaging methods for analysis of ventilation, airways and areas of gas exchange using apparent diffusion coefficient ADC imaging, and the alveolar epithelium and pulmonary interstitium using dissolved phase imaging. The xenon-imaging work is also part of the NIHR Oxford BRC Imaging Theme.
- Developing a laser gas analyser that permits the measurement of in-airway gases and lung inhomogeneity in real-time, without the need for invasive treatment.
- Developing new analytical techniques including CyTOF, ChipCytometry, single cell genomics and small sample DNA sequencing methods.
- Seeking a blood marker that identifies the dominant pathophysiology in the lungs as a biomarker for specific molecular and cellular mechanisms.
- Forming a highly characterised group of discovery patients in whom sputum, lung lavage cells, deep endobronchial biopsies and blood is analysed using immunological methods.
- Testing these techniques on patients during and after an exacerbation of lung disease, before and after therapeutic interventions known to have a large impact and on patients with established burnt out non-progressive disease.