Translational Physiology — Introduction

Launched in April 2012, the Translational and Physiology theme aims to apply recent advances in molecular and integrative physiology (including technical innovation) to tractable clinical situations.

The theme aims to drive clinical translation through two approaches:

1. The development and application of technology for physiological monitoring. The aim is to combine novel imaging and physiological techniques to address unmet medical need. Specific aims are clinical development of:

• Hyperpolarized noble gas magnetic resonance (MR) technology to image regional pulmonary function

• Laser based real-time analysis of gas exchange in critically ill patients;

• Direct MR imaging of tissue oxygen tension;

• Metabolic imaging of oncometabolites by proton MR spectrometry.

2. Experimental medicine studies in new, or emerging, areas of clinical physiology. The aim is to focus on three interconnected areas where advances in physiological understanding suggest therapeutic opportunities:

  • Hypoxia biology;
  • Respiratory sleep disturbance.
  • Using a cohort of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease we will be assessing a range of clinical interventions including the role of iron balance in their response to hypoxia.
  • Assessing the predictive value of physiological and radiological parameters for the treatment outcome and natural, history of pneumothorax and potential novel treatment paradigms that this might afford.
  • The development of sonographic assessment of lung water content in patients with respiratory failure as an adjunct to clinical decision making.