Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major health problem in the UK. It affects approximately 10 percent of the population over 40, accounts for almost 30,000 deaths and over £1 billion in direct health care costs annually.

The COPD research team is led by Professor Michael Polkey and Professor Wisia Wedzicha at Royal Brompton Hospital, and by Dr Will Man at Harefield Hospital.

Current research

  • The use of macrolides to reduce inflammation and reverse corticosteroid resistance
  • Validation of novel biomarkers identified in macrophages and neutrophils of COPD patients
  • The study of the mechanisms of defective bacterial phagocytosis and relationship to bacterial colonisation, clinical parameters, inflammation and disease progression
  • Characterisation of macrophage phenotypes in COPD patients
  • The investigation of the mechanisms of accelerated ageing in COPD patients and in particular the role of oxidative stress and reduced sirtuin activity
  • Small airway function in COPD patients
  • Studies of novel ways of using antibiotics in COPD, including long term therapy and exacerbation retreatment
  • Research Programme into the early natural history of COPD.
  • Skeletal muscle weakness in COPD and the effect of anabolic agents on exercise capacity
  • Investigation of the use of iron in nonanemic iron deficient COPD patients
  • Lung volume reduction for hyperinflation with emphysema