University of Nottingham academic awarded prestigious professorship for research into lung disease

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An academic at The University of Nottingham has been awarded a unique professorship by a leading national charity in recognition of his research, which aims to improve the medical care of patients with lung disease and respiratory infections.

Dr Richard Hubbard, in the University's Division of Epidemiology and Public Health, has been chosen to become the next British Lung Foundation/GlaxoSmithKline Chair in Epidemiological Respiratory Research - the only one of its kind in the UK.

The funding from the BLF for the post will allow Dr Hubbard to continue research he was undertaking as a Reader in Clinical Epidemiology into the factors underlying why people develop lung diseases or respiratory infections.

The research that Dr Hubbard will work on during the next five years of his chair will include:

· Looking at possible risk factors for pneumonia and other types of interstitial lung disease and common drugs that may help to prevent them, which could lead to lower numbers of patients developing the conditions and better drugs to slow their progression

· Investigating the possible benefits of inhaled steroids, similar to those used to treat asthma, in improving survival rates of patients with chronic bronchitis (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

· Examining whether smoking during pregnancy can lead to a greater risk of congenital defects in babies, which could be used to provide more detailed patient information and lead to a decrease in smoking rates during pregnancy

Dr Hubbard joined The University of Nottingham as a lecturer in 1996, having previously worked as a specialist in respiratory medicine for the NHS based at Nottingham City Hospital.

Speaking about his award, he said: “This is a hugely prestigious post to be awarded and is not only a great honour for me but also acknowledges the quality of the research team with which I work. We have chosen to study these areas of research because they are of great practical importance to people with lung disease and because the answers will have an immediate impact on the clinical care that they receive.”

The British Lung Foundation is the only UK charity working for everyone affected by lung disease. The charity focuses its resources on providing support for people affected by lung disease and works in a variety of ways (including funding world-class research) to bring about positive change, to improve treatment, care and support for people affected by lung-disease in the future.

The BLF is this year celebrating its 20th birthday, during which it has spent more than £17 million on research into lung disease, awarding more than 260 separate research grants all over the UK. These grants have tackled diverse areas of lung disease from COPD to pneumonia, from lung cancer to sarcoidosis.

Dame Helena Shovelton Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation said: "We are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Hubbard as BLF/GSK Chair in Epidemiological Respiratory Research at The University of Nottingham.

“The candidate list was of a very high standard and it was a difficult choice. Dr Hubbard was chosen due to his valuable role in a well-established research group, his access to excellent epidemiological data and the unique and extremely valuable work he proposes to do. We look forward to working with him."

To celebrate it's anniversary, the BLF will be holding a Five Decades of Research lecture in London on December 8, which will bring together leading researchers to speak about the research highlights from the 1950s to 2000s.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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