Academic Unit of Respiratory Medicine

apsThe Academic Unit of Respiratory Medicine was formed following Moira Whyte's appointment in 1996 to a newly-created Chair of Respiratory Medicine. The clinical academic staff include Professor Ian Sabroe and Dr. Stephen Renshaw (Reader and MRC Senior Clinical Fellow). In addition, David Dockrell (Professor of Infectious Diseases and Wellcome Senior Clinical Fellow) is fully integrated into our research activity. In addition, there are 3 clinical research fellows, 6 research associates, 8 PhD students and 5 technicians, all funded through research grants. In addition to the 4 clinical academic consultants, there are 11 NHS consultants who hold Honorary Senior Lecturer appointments within the Academic Unit.

The Unit includes a number of other staff with skills in genetics, molecular cell biology, cellular imaging, and in in vivo models of pulmonary infection and inflammation. The Unit has close links to the MRC Centre for Developmental and Biomedical Genetics, with Dr Stephen Renshaw based within the MRC Centre and researching in zebrafish models of inflammation. The Academic Unit has a unique association with the Centre for Workplace Health, allowing extensive training opportunities in occupational lung diseases. Sheffield is also the largest of the nationally-designated Clinical Centres for Pulmonary Vascular Medicine and Professor Sabroe leads on research in pulmonary vascular disease.

Academic Lead: Professor Steve Renshaw


The Academic Unit has excellent infrastructure for delivery of research training. We have recently moved to state of the art, SRIF-funded laboratories. For basic medical science, there are extensive facilities for molecular biology, tissue culture, genetics, microarray and proteomics and confocal imaging, all operating as "core" facilities with dedicated technical support. There is a new FACS-Aria flow cytometer and a new animal facility with core facilities for gene targeting. For Fellows who wish to undertake a clinical research project the new Clinical Research Facility is contained within the same building as the Academic Unit and the clinical department.

In RAE2008 UoA3 for Infection and Immunity, Respiratory Medicine was highlighted as a particular strength in Sheffield.

Our major research interest lies in understanding the mechanisms of inflammation that underpin chronic lung diseases such as asthma, COPD and interstitial lung diseases. Major research areas include the regulation of inflammatory cell apoptosis, the role of Tolls and chemokine receptors in granulocyte biology, the biology of the respiratory epithelium and the interrelationships between hypoxia and inflammation. Clinical research is conducted in COPD, asthma, occupational and interstitial lung disease and pulmonary vascular disease.