College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine

Asthma research centre launched

Asthma research has received a major boost with the launch of a new centre led by Edinburgh researchers.

The Centre aims to find better treatments and make them available to patients faster than ever before.

It is the UK’s first integrated Centre focused solely on improving the quality of life of people with asthma.


The Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research will be co-ordinated by the University of Edinburgh and Queen Mary, University of London. It is backed by 13 of the UK’s leading academic and NHS organisations.

The Centre is led by Professors Aziz Sheikh, of the University of Edinburgh, and Chris Griffiths, Queen Mary, University of London, two of the UK’s leading experts in applied asthma research.

The Centre addresses a very real need for collaborative research that can facilitate large-scale trials which have potential to benefit millions of people. I am delighted that some of the UK’s top asthma researchers are contributing to this unprecedented initiative where they can share expertise and insights to drive forward major improvements in asthma care provision.

Professor Aziz SheikhDirector, Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research

Treatment delay

More than five million people in the UK are affected by asthma yet research into this life-threatening condition is chronically underfunded.

Researchers say that it currently takes an average of 17 years to develop a new asthma treatment.

The vision for this pioneering, multidisciplinary research initiative is to halve the time it takes to get innovations to people with asthma. The Centre also aims to nurture the next generation of world class applied asthma researchers.

The recent National Review of Asthma Deaths reports the urgent need to improve asthma care. The opening of this centre is perfectly timed. It marks a significant step forward in delivering world-class applied research to improve care and reduce asthma deaths and hospitalisation in the UK.

Professor Chris GriffithsCo-director, Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research

The introduction into clinical use of the first modern inhaler for asthma management took over 40 years from initial lab discovery through clinical trials and into practice. More than half a century later asthma still kills and there are tens of thousands of people with asthma facing a daily struggle to breathe.

Kay BoycottChief Executive, Asthma UK