Project: Biomarkers in preschool children with wheeze to TArget therapy wIth inhaLed cORticosteroids (TAILOR): a feasibility study
PhD Title: Biomarkers in preschool children with wheeze to TArget therapy wIth inhaLed cORticosteroids (TAILOR): a feasibility study
Funded by: Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research
Supervisors: Professor Andrew Bush, Professor Ian Pavord, Dr Louise Fleming, Professor Christopher Griffiths, Dr Sarah-Jane Bowen
Based at: Imperial College London
Wheezing in pre-school children can impair their quality of life and requires repeated admissions in hospitals. Their diagnosis is usually relied on their parents' testimonials and they may perceive the sounds of their children as wheezing, when there is not really a narrowing in the intrathoracic airways. While most children are prescribed inhaled corticosteroids, there are strong indications that response to these drugs is affected by eosinophilic inflammation in the airways, and specifically above a specific eosinophilic count.
Nowadays, biomarkers have shown that not only they can help in personalising an individual’s therapy, but to provide the necessary tools to choose the best treatment. Thus, in this project, I will evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of using a point of care blood eosinophilic count on a finger prick blood sample, measuring fractional exhaled nitric oxide levels and performing skin prick tests, to personalise the therapy of pre-school children with asthma, with the aforementioned techniques allowing the minimisation of inhaled corticosteroids’ usage to only when necessary (since corticosteroids can have adverse effects on children like growth suppression etc.)
I studied Pharmacy at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Through my undergraduate studies, I had the opportunity to come in contact with a broad range of therapeutics that can be used to treat many diseases and this motivated me to conduct my first research work through my undergraduate diploma thesis.
My passion for research grew stronger through my experience in completing my undergraduate thesis, so I continued my education by enrolling for an MSc in Genes, Drugs and Stem Cells – Novel Therapies at Imperial College London, UK. This masters program gave me the opportunity to learn more about novel therapies including stem cell and gene therapy as well as, small molecule and biological drugs. There I enrolled into my postgraduate research project "Potential of arginine containing formulations of celecoxib as anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer therapies with improved cardiovascular safety".
My main research interest involves airway diseases like asthma, and in particular personalised therapy through applied research (e.g. clinical trials).