Leicester researcher receives funding for genomic research to tackle incurable lung diseases

Professor Louise Wain, a researcher in our Department of Health Sciences, has been awarded a personal Chair (Professorship) and a £400,000 grant to conduct ground-breaking research by the British Lung Foundation. The prestigious award, jointly funded by the university, the British Lung Foundation, and GSK will establish the University of Leicester as a leading genomics research centre taking on two incurable lung conditions - chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

She will work with researchers from across the world, using powerful new genetic studies and data collection, to explain why some people develop these diseases but others do not, and why people with the same disease have different symptoms.

IPF and COPD leave the people affected constantly out of breath. As it becomes more severe, just getting out of bed or getting dressed in the morning is a marathon. Living with IPF means continuously developing scars on the lungs, and having an average life expectancy after diagnosis of just 3-5 years. COPD, causes narrowed airways. This long-term condition often leaves people affected with a greatly reduced quality of life.

The work will form an integral part of the Leicester Precision Medicine Institute that unites the research expertise and facilities of the University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust with industry to provide new discoveries and medical innovations that impact on the healthcare of its ethnically diverse population.

Watch a video about the effects of lung conditions and the British Lung Foundations new Professorships: