CRF director awarded professorial research chair

Congratulations to Professor Philip Molyneaux who has been awarded the role of chair of respiratory research by Asthma + Lung UK.

The role recognises Professor Molyneaux’s significant contribution to research and will support him and his team for the next five years. With this appointment, Asthma + Lung UK aims to ensure that lung health remains a key focus in the research landscape in the UK.

Professor Molyneaux is the lead consultant for clinical trials into pulmonary fibrosis at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals, and is the director of the NIHR Cardiorespiratory Clinical research facility. He runs an active clinical and translational research program that oversees a team of basic scientists and clinical research staff.

Pulmonary fibrosis is a disease caused by a build-up of scar tissue in the lungs, called fibrosis, which causes the lungs to become stiffer and lose their elasticity, making it harder to breathe.

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is the commonest form of the condition. It is a progressive disease and currently affects over 32,000 people across the UK, with approximately 7,800 people diagnosed with the disease every year. The exact cause of IPF is unknown, and existing treatments do not cure the disease and therefore unfortunately the outcomes for patients remain poor.

Professor Molyneaux’s research will aim to address this, and he hopes to significantly improve the lives of individuals with IPF by focusing on potential triggers driving the disease.

Research carried out by Professor Molyneaux and his team has shown that patients with IPF have more bacteria in their lungs, compared with healthy people, which can drive disease progression.

However, it is not yet clear where these bacteria come from, nor how they may cause scarring. Over the next 5 years Professor Molyneaux’s research will aim to answer these questions as well determine whether targeting lung bacteria would be a good way to treat IPF.

On receiving the award Professor Molyneaux said: “It is an honour to be awarded this national chair and a fantastic opportunity to make a difference for people with scarring lung disease. I look forward to working with Asthma + Lung UK to continue to grow and drive forward research into this important area of respiratory disease”

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