MRC Human Genetics Unit
Medical Research Council Human Genetics Unit

Simon Biddie (Affiliate)

Genome regulation of lung inflammation, injury and repair

Dr Simon Biddie, CSO/NES Clinical Lecturer and Honorary Registrar in Intensive Care Medicine
Dr Simon Biddie, CSO/NES Clinical Lecturer and Honorary Registrar in Intensive Care Medicine

Section: Genome Regulation

Research in a Nutshell

Lung inflammation from pathogens such as bacteria and viruses, such as influenza and coronaviruses, can progress to lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Patients can develop severe respiratory failure requiring critical care and invasive ventilation, with high morbidity and mortality. Importantly, the response to bacterial or viral infection, such as in COVID-19, varies between individuals with some having mild symptoms, while others progress to severe disease.

Lung injury engages cellular repair mechanisms to promote regeneration but also causes deleterious signals that have acute and long-term health consequences. Through understanding mechanisms that regulate transcription dynamics in lung injury, we aim to uncover mechanisms of lung injury heterogeneity and identify targetable pathways to improve clinical outcomes.

We utilise genomic approaches to dissect the transcriptional changes and dynamics of chromatin structure in cell and animal models of lung injury. A major theme is the discovery of cell-specific enhancers in response to inflammation, through molecular profiling of chromatin accessibility and enhancer perturbation methods. Furthermore, we combine single-cell transcriptomics and lineage-tracing approaches in vivo to address mechanisms of cellular responses to acute lung injury.


Simon Biddie Clinical Lecturer
Nneka Nnadi Postdoctoral Research Fellow



  • Professor Wendy Bickmore, University of Edinburgh 
  • Professor Neil Henderson, University of Edinburgh 
  • Professor Christopher Lucas, University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Kenny Baillie, University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Catalina Vallejos, University of Edinburgh

Partners and Funders

  • Chief Science Office
  • Carnegie Trust


Scientific Themes

inflammation, lung injury, chromatin structure, transcription regulation