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You are here:   Home  »  About Us  »  Meet The Team  »  Principal Investigators

Principal Investigators

Professor Andrew Wardlaw

Director of Leicester Respiratory BRU

Professor of Allergy & Respiratory Medicine


Professor Wardlaw’s research is focused on the relationship between the clinical features of asthma and its immunopathology as well as the mechanisms of leukocyte, particularly eosinophil migration to the bronchial mucosa in asthma.


His current research interests are in the pathogenesis of severe asthma, the role of fungi in asthma and allergic disease and the factors controlling leukocyte migration in tissue.


Professor Wardlaw took up a post as the first respiratory academic in the University of Leicester in 1992. In 1999 he was appointed to the inaugural chair in respiratory medicine in Leicester and in 2000 he became the Director of the Leicester Institute for Lung Health.


Professor Wardlaw was the President of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (2002-2006) and Editor in chief of Clinical Experimental Allergy (2008-2015). He is an NIHR senior investigator. Professor Wardlaw has published over 212 research papers which together have been cited ~20,000 times with an h-index of 71 (Web of Science).



Professor Andrew Wardlaw

Professor Chris Brightling

NIHR Senior Investigator

Honorary Consultant Respiratory Physician for ILH


Christopher Brightling is a National Institute for Health Research Senior Investigator, former Wellcome Trust Senior Clinical Fellow, Honorary Consultant Respiratory Physician at the Institute for Lung Health, Leicester, UK. He is Clinical Interventions Theme Lead for the Leicester NIHR Respiratory Biomedical Unit and a Coordinator for the European Union Consortium AirPROM, MRC/ABPI COPD (COPDMAP) Consortium and the MRC Molecular Pathology Node EMBER.


As a well-respected expert in the immunopathogenesis of airway diseases, particularly asthma, chronic cough and COPD, his current projects include understanding the interactions between mast cells and airway smooth muscle cells in the development of the asthmatic phenotype, and migration and remodeling of airway smooth muscle in asthma and COPD.


Professor Brightling has published over 275 peer-reviewed articles and has an h-index of 70 (google scholar). He has been an invited speaker at over 20 international meetings within the last 5 years. Professor Brightling is Associate Editor of the prestigious CHEST and Clinical Science journals and has contributed to updates for the American College of Chest Physicians’ Cough Guidelines, the British Thoracic Society Difficult Asthma Guidelines, the World Health Organization Severe Asthma Strategy and the American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society Severe Asthma Task Force.



Professor Pete Bradding


Professor Pete Bradding’s research interests are focussed on the pathophysiology of asthma, in particular the factors driving chronic disease expression, the role of mast cells and their regulation by ion channels . His research has contributed to several major advances in the field of mast cell biology and our understanding of the role of these cells in asthma and allergy.

Professor Pete Bradding

Professor Sally Singh


Professor Sally Singh has worked in the field of pulmonary rehabilitation for several years; she is Head of Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. She is co-chairing the ERS-ATS statement on pulmonary rehabilitation and the ERS statement on nutrition and COPD. She has been involved in the development of number of outcome measures to assess the impact of pulmonary rehabilitation, including the incremental shuttle walking test. The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust hosts one of the largest rehabilitation programmes in the UK and has an established reputation for rehabilitation related research. Her current research interests (supported by the MRC-COPD MAP consortium and the NIHR) include exercise assessment in COPD, Self management in COPD and all aspects of pulmonary rehabilitation.  She is the lead for ‘managing long term conditions’ for the East Midlands CLAHRC.


Professor Sally Singh


Professor Mick Steiner


Professor Mick Steiner is a Consultant Respiratory Physician at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester and was appointed Honorary Clinical Professor at Loughborough in 2013. Professor Steiner graduated in Medicine from The Middlesex and UCH medical school in 1990. He undertook his specialist training in Respiratory Medicine in North Trent and was appointed as consultant at Glenfield in 2002.

He provides acute and outpatient specialist care for patients with a wide range of respiratory conditions in Leicestershire. His sub-speciality interests include COPD, pulmonary rehabilitation, lung volume reduction therapies and disorders requiring home mechanical ventilation.

His research interests focus on chronic respiratory disease management, pulmonary rehabilitation, skeletal muscle dysfunction, exercise and training physiology and nutritional support in COPD and other chronic respiratory diseases.

He is leading the Pulmonary Rehabilitation workstream of the HQIP commissioned National COPD Audit and is a member of the steering committee of the secondary care workstream.

He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and member of the British and American Thoracic Societies and the European Respiratory Society.

Dr Mick Steiner

Professor Salman Siddiqui


Professor Salman Siddiqui’s research interest is severe asthma and the structure and function of small airways. His current work focuses on the use of functional hyperpolarised MRI, applied physiological tools and exhaled breath to phenotype the small airways.


Dr Salman Siddiqui

Professor Martin Tobin


Martin D. Tobin is Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and Public Health and an MRC Senior Clinical Fellow (University of Leicester, UK), and an Honorary Consultant in Public Health (University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust). Following a broad clinical background encompassing paediatrics and general practice, he specialised in public health and undertook advanced training in epidemiology and genetic epidemiology at the University of Leicester. Professor Tobin’s research current empasses studies of lung function, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and related traits using a variety of strategies including genome-wide association, exome array and resequencing studies. The work of his team also includes the study of blood pressure and the study of copy number variation. He co-leads the SpiroMeta consortium for lung function, and co-leads the first genetic study in UK Biobank – the UK BiLEVE consortium which will study lung health related traits in 50,000 individuals.


Professor Martin Tobin

Dr Yassine Amrani


Dr Yassine Amrani holds a Readership in Respiratory Immunology at the College of Medicine, Biological Sciences of University of Leicester. Trained at the Universities of Constantine (Algeria) and Strasbourg (France), he got his first academic appointment as Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia). In the past 20 years, Dr Amrani's lab has made key observations about how the interaction between pro-asthmatic factors and lung structural cells contributes to the asthma pathogenesis.

His main research achievements include the first demonstration that TH1 and TH2 cytokines may promote bronchial hyper-responsiveness by altering contractility of airway smooth muscle via changes in calcium metabolism. The other key contribution from his lab was to identify some of the molecular mechanisms that may explain why severe asthma patients poorly respond to both b2-agonists (i.e., receptor phosphorylation on tyrosine residues, functional interaction with mast cells) and corticosteroids (i.e., inhibition of GRa signaling by GRb, IRF-1 and PP5).  

Dr Amrani has authored 8 book chapters, 12 reviews and more > 70 peer-reviewed articles in different Journals (J Immunol, J Allergy Clin Immunol, PNAS, JBC) that have been cited more than 3655 times. His H-Index is 36 (scopus search).

He acted as Ad hoc reviewer for > 25 medical journals (including PNAS, JCI, Nature Communication), > 16 funding bodies (US, UK, Australia, Netherlands, Canada, Ireland) and served on the review grant panel for NIH (USA), Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute (FAMRI, USA), Health Research Board (HRB, Ireland) and Agence pour la Recherche Nationale (ANR, France). He also received > 50 invitations as guest speaker in national and international institutions/conferences. 


Dr Yassine Amrani

Professor David Cousins

Professor Cousins has recently joined from King’s College London where he was a Senior Lecturer and Principal Investigator in the Medical Research Council (MRC) & Asthma UK Centre for Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma.

His research interests centre around the impairment of the immune system in asthma and other respiratory diseases. His research plans are focussed on particular cells of the immune system that produce inflammatory proteins that cause inflammation in the lungs and a worsening of symptoms in patients. For several years his work has examined the role of T-cells (a type of white blood cell) in allergy and asthma. More recently he has been investigating a new cell type, called innate lymphoid cell, that scientists did not know existed until very recently. These new cells may be very important in causing inflammation in the lungs, especially in response to viruses like the common cold virus. He will be continuing his work on these new cells at the BRU with the aim of better understanding their role in respiratory disease. A deeper understanding of these cells will hopefully enable us to develop new and better medicines to treat respiratory diseases.

Professor David Cousins

Dr Erol Gaillard

Dr Gaillard’s research interest is in endotyping paediatric asthma by studying systemic and airway inflammation and the role of the airway epithelium including mucus secretion and mucin composition during acute exacerbations in children with wheezing and asthma. He also has a strong role in the ongoing epidemiological research involving the Leicestershire Respiratory Cohort Studies http://www.leicestercohorts.org/.

Dr Erol Gaillard