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Trust hosts a second successful AHSC seminar series

20 July 2018


Pollution, allergies and pulmonary arterial hypertension were the topics of discussion at this year’s spring seminar series organised by the Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC) and hosted at Royal Brompton Hospital. 


AHSC logo

The seminars enable the AHSC to raise awareness of the research taking place across the partnership organisations. They also aim to advance medicine and improve the quality of life of both NHS patients and patients around the world by taking research discoveries and putting them into practice in healthcare as quickly as possible.


The talks are arranged so that each one brings together a clinician from Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust and a scientist or academic from Imperial College.


The first talk involved Professor Paul Cullinan, consultant physician at the Trust, and Professor Paul Elliott, chair in epidemiology and public health medicine at Imperial College London, as they presented their research on the long-term health impacts of exposure to environmental pollution and occupational conditions. 


Professor Cullinan discussed his research on the risks of occupational lung disease in supermarket bakers (who are at considerable risk of developing work-related asthma due to exposure to ingredients involved in the baking process), whilst Professor Elliot spoke about how short-term exposure to air pollution in built-up areas like London’s Oxford Street can offset the positive effects on the heart and lungs that can be gained from walking.


The second in the seminar series saw Professor Adnan Custovic, professor of paediatric allergy at Imperial College London, speak about his work on leading the ‘Study Team for Early Life Asthma Research’ (STELAR) Consortium project which aims to understand more about the emergence, sequence and development of allergic and asthmatic symptoms. Stephen Durham, professor of allergy and respiratory medicine at the Trust, presented his findings on the impact of allergen immunotherapy which can modify a person’s immune response in allergic diseases like hayfever to prevent symptoms and induce long-term remission.


The finale in the series was presented by Dr John Wort, clinical lead for pulmonary hypertension (PAH) at the Trust and Professor Martin Wilkins, vice dean (research) for the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London, both providing updates on their research.


Dr John Wort spoke about developing more personalised treatments for patients with PAH and identifying those at risk of the disease, whilst Professor Wilkins spoke about his work to discover and understand the genes that cause PAH.


The talks were well attended and were open to the general public, patients, staff from across the partnership and students from Imperial College London.


The individual seminars are available to watch at the links below:


Occupational lung disease at Royal Brompton

Professor Paul Cullinan


The impact of the Environment on Heart and Lung Health

Professor Paul Elliott


Understanding asthma

Professor Adnan Custovic


Immunotherapy for hayfever

Professor Stephen Durham


Advancing the clinical management of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension

Dr John Wort


Finding new treatments for pulmonary arterial hypertension

Professor Martin Wilkins


If you would like to find out more about any of our research, please contact us.




Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust and Imperial College London are partners in the Imperial College AHSC which aims to improve the quality of life of patients and populations through a commitment to align institutional strategies for research, education and clinical practice.


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