University of Leicester researcher is awarded Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis Fellowship

A University of Leicester researcher has been awarded a Mike Bray Fellowship by Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis.

Dr Richard Allen, Research Associate in Statistical Genetics, University of Leicester, has been awarded £280,000 as part of his Mike Bray Fellowship award to investigate the causes and treatments of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF).

Affecting more than 30,000 adults in the UK, IPF is a terminal lung condition with no known cause or cure and the most common form of pulmonary fibrosis.

By comparing the DNA of individuals with IPF, Dr Allen’s research will investigate the genetics of the disease and its progression, as well as classify subtypes of the disease.

The work will improve our understanding of IPF and lead to the development of new treatments that are better targeted to individuals who are most likely to benefit.

Dr Allen said: “I am so excited to be given this chance to extend my work on the genetics of IPF which will help guide the development of new treatments for this devastating disease.

“I would like to thank Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis for giving me this incredible opportunity.”

Dr Allen was awarded his fellowship along with Dr Philip Molyneaux of Imperial College London.

The Mike Bray fellowships are awarded to researchers to investigate the causes and treatments of idiopathic fibrosis (IPF) and are named after APF’s founding chair of trustees, Mike Bray, who passed away in 2017 from IPF.

Each year around 6,000 people die from IPF and the average life expectancy from diagnosis is only three years.

However, compared with diseases of similar prognosis, IPF receives little attention and limited research funding.

APF Chair, Steve Jones said: “We are really excited to be able to launch these two important research projects.

“Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a devastating and incurable illness.

“The two projects seek to understand different aspects of the disease and we hope they will each open up new avenues for treatment.

“We are really grateful to our amazing supporters and their families and friends, who raised the money to make this possible.”

Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis is a leading funder of research into this life shattering disease.