Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research

Recent PhD Completions

Congratulations to our most recent PhD completions!

Huge congratulations to the PhD completions we have had in the Centre over the last 6 months. Drs Hayley Holt, Kevin Tsang, Grace Lewis, Emma Kinley, Stephanie Easton and Bohee Lee have all defended their theses in their vivas! Find out more about each student’s PhD study and where they are now.

Hayley Holt

Hayley Holt

Hayley was based at Queen Mary University of London and her PhD involved leading a longitudinal population-based observational study of coronavirus in the UK population, the COVIDENCE UK study. Publications from the research included identifying risk factors for developing COVID-19.

Hayley is now working for an international biotechnology research organisation which delivers clinical trials.

Read Hayley’s PhD Profile

Headshot of Kevin Tsang

Kevin Tsang

Kevin was based at the University of Edinburgh and completed his PhD in late 2022. His study looked at whether using AI through a mobile app could identify when a person with asthma may be heading for an asthma attack. Combining this with localised weather, pollen and air quality reports, the idea was to be able to notify the person with asthma and help them make better choices for their self-management.

Kevin has now started a Teaching Fellow post at the Data Driven Innovation programme within the Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh. He teaches data science for health and social care in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD) courses.

Read Kevin’s PhD Profile

Leanne Tyson

Leanne Tyson

Leanne was based at the University of East Anglia. Her study investigated a behavioural change intervention to promote physical activity among sedentary adults with moderate to severe asthma.

Leanne has now started working at University of East Anglia with Dr Joanna Semlyen on a research project studying equality, diversity and inclusion in research.

Read Leanne’s PhD Profile

Grace Lewis

Grace Lewis

Grace was based at the University of Leeds. Her study focussed on how to enable children and young people to avoid the asthma triggers that are present in the home. These triggers can include dust, pets and tobacco smoke.

Grace has now started working as a Senior Research Associate at the University of Bristol. Her work there is examining how best a FeNO (Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide) interventions may be implemented into primary care asthma reviews in the future.

Read Grace’s PhD Profile

headshot of Emma Kinley

Emma Kinley

Emma’s PhD was part of the IMP2ART programme (IMPlementing IMProved Asthma self-management as RouTine). Her study involved observing and understanding how healthcare professionals delivered supported self-management during asthma reviews. Watch a video describing Emma’s study and its results:

Emma is now working towards completing her Health Psychology Stage 2 Training. She is also working as Patient and Public Involvement Research Fellow across multiple projects at the Usher Institute at the University of Edinburgh.

Read Emma’s PhD Profile

Stephanie Easton

Stephanie Easton

Stephanie was based at University Hospital Southampton and her PhD involved repurposing an adult breathing retraining intervention into a digital version for young people with asthma.

Stephanie’s PhD work is now developing into a larger trial to assess the intervention’s effectiveness. Additionally, Stephanie is currently working on developing an online behavioural intervention with advice for young people with acne.

Read Stephanie’s PhD Profile

headshot of Bohee Lee

Bohee Lee

Bohee was based at the University of Edinburgh. Her study was examining the responsiveness to oral corticosteroids in recurrent wheeze of early childhood. The study aimed to find out whether oral steroids were a good treatment for wheeze when children arrived at the emergency department. Watch a video describing Bohee’s study and its results:

During her studies, Bohee was heavily involved in UNCOVER, (Usher Network for COvid-19 Evidence Reviews) which had a major influence on the Scottish and UK response to COVID-19.

Bohee has now started working as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Dr Chloe Bloom’s team at Imperial College London. Her work there involves investigating the impact of diabetes medications on asthma exacerbations in asthma patients, utilizing the Clinical Practice Research Datalink database which consists of routinely-collected electronic health records (EHR) from UK primary care practices.

Read Bohee’s PhD Profile