In recognition of her contribution to the fields of ventilatory support and sleep disorders research, Dr Anita Simonds was made a professor of respiratory and sleep medicine at the National Heart & Lung Institute, Imperial College London in 2011.
Professor Simonds has particular expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders, including obstructive sleep apnoea. She diagnoses patients using the sleep laboratory and home sleep studies and has wide experience in the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy in adults and children with obstructive sleep apnoea, plus application of a range of other treatments for sleep disorders.
She has additional expertise in acute and chronic non-invasive ventilation (NIV) in adults and children, weaning, respiratory aspects of neuromuscular disease including muscular dystrophies, spinal muscular atrophy, motor neurone disease and scoliosis assessment. Her experience includes providing oxygen therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation and palliative care for individuals with chronic lung disease. Dr Simonds has written on the ethical aspects of duty of care, and the management of children with end stage neuromuscular disease such as Type 1 Spinal muscular atrophy.
Recent research has examined droplet dispersion around non-invasive ventilation, oxygen and nebuliser therapy in pandemic flu and other airborne disease (DH NIHR pandemic flu grant), assessed the effects of obstructive sleep apnoea on cognitive function, and examined innovative modes of ventilation including autotitrating non-invasive ventilation, and adaptive servo ventilation in patients with heart failure. She is currently carrying out an NIHR CLAHRC-funded randomised controlled trial of telemonitoring in heart and lung failure.
Professor Simonds is visiting professor at the University of Belgrade Medical School and chair of the European School of Medicine 2011-2013.
She is the organiser and speaker at European and US courses and symposia on NIV, including European Respiratory Society Postgraduate Courses on NIV, Hannover 2007-2010. She was a member of the Consensus Conference on Standards of Care in Spinal Muscular Atrophy 2007 and Congenital Muscular Dystrophy in 2010, and has formulated guidelines for the management of children with congenital myasthenia syndromes 2010, and is a member of British Thoracic Society guideline group for respiratory care of children with neuromuscular disease 2011.
Professor Simonds carries out extensive teaching of overseas and UK students, and regularly trains European Respiratory Society fellows.
She is chair of the Royal Brompton Arts Committee, which brings art and music to patients and staff.
Chatwin M; Bush A; Simonds AK. (May 2011). Outcome of goal-directed non-invasive ventilation and mechanical insufflation/exsufflation in spinal muscular atrophy type I. Arch Dis Child. 96:426-432.
Simonds AK; Hanak A; Chatwin M; Morrell M; Hall A; Parker KH; Siggers JH; Dickinson RJ. (Oct 2010). Evaluation of droplet dispersion during non-invasive ventilation, oxygen therapy, nebuliser treatment and chest physiotherapy in clinical practice: implications for management of pandemic influenza and other airborne infections. Health Technol Assess. 14:131-172.
Twigg GL; Papaioannou I; Jackson M; Ghiassi R; Shaikh Z; Jaye J; Graham KS; Simonds AK; et al. (1 Jul 2010). Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is associated with deficits in verbal but not visual memory. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 182:98-103.
Prof Simonds is author of Non Invasive Respiratory Support (third edition 2007 Hodder Arnold) and co-author of Non-Invasive Ventilation (second edition due 2009 ERS publications) with J-F Muir and N Ambrosino, and co-editor of the ERS Handbook of Respiratory Medicine (2010).
Read the BBC's profile of Anita Simonds.
Watch a video presentation by Professor Simonds on 'Obstructive sleep apnoea: diagnosis, causes and consequences in cardiac patients' Visit the sleep & ventilation page.