In the UK, lung diseases – including COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma, pleural diseases and pulmonary fibrosis – are responsible for more than 700,000 hospital admissions every year.
The development of new drugs and improved management of these conditions has been hampered by a number of factors, including a poor understanding of the underlying mechanisms of these diseases, limited adoption of new methods to categorise patients, and ineffective targeting of treatment.
We want to better understand the mechanisms that cause disease, lead to acute deterioration or progression, which will enable us to define ‘treatable traits’ and match individual patients to specific treatments. We are refining modern scientific tools for clinical use, as well as carrying out more focused and effective clinical trials that will deliver effective medicines to patients more rapidly.
Ultimately, our research will lead to improvements in best practice by developing the right treatment to the right subset of patients at the right time. All our research will be carried out in consultation with our patients and carer/public representative groups and through our strong links with national patient charities.
Our theme will focus on three groups of common respiratory diseases:
Sub-theme 1 – Airways disease (asthma and COPD)
We are continuing our work to understand the mechanisms behind airways diseases, including how type 2/eosinophilic-mediated processes might cause acute deterioration, and investigate the role of non-T2 mechanistic pathways. Read more
Sub-theme 2 – Interstitial lung disease
We are using our expertise in immunology, imaging and other cutting-edge technologies to investigate how lung fibrosis (scarring) progresses and developing new treatments for it. Read more
Sub-theme 3 – Pleural diseases
Using samples from our network of pleural centres, we are investigating the underlying mechanisms that drive pleural conditions, defining phenotypes and identifying new drug treatments. Read more
Working actively with other centres across the UK, via Professor Ling-Pei Ho’s national leadership of the NIHR Respiratory Translational Research Collaboration and through Professor Najib Rahman’s role in the UK pleural trial network, we aim to strengthen collaboration across the UK and bring better-designed early and late clinical trials to every hospital and patient.
Find out about the work of the Oxford Respiratory Trials Unit.