In 1991 a group of prominent Southampton businessmen urged a group of scientists working for the University of Southampton to launch a charity to support some of the excellent work in the field of asthma and allergy that was being produced by the research group who were located at Southampton General Hospital.
This group led by Professor Stephen Holgate (CBE) have since then become arguably one of the world’s leading centres of excellence in the field of asthma, allergy and all related conditions of the respiratory system. This has resulted in recognition as a World Allergy Organization Centre of Excellence in Allergic Disease.
The group now have considered experts in all aspects of respiratory medicine and with both national and international recognition, the Southampton Group have become the group for young scientist from most countries in the world, to work with. We currently have at any time some 20 nationalities working as students or research personnel.
The current chairperson is Professor Donna Davies who co-ordinates the decision making of a group of some 10 Trustees. This group is made up of scientists and external professional lay persons with a mix of gender and ethnicity.
Funding for our research activity comes from many sources including the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and, of course AAIR.
The Asthma, Allergy and Inflammation Research Trust (AAIR) works with our scientists allowing them to purchase pieces of vital equipment, to fund studentships and to support research projects with consumable cost. Since 1991, AAIR has contributed over £6M to assist with developing new drugs, to improve treatment and to further understand the mechanisms that present patients with the debilitating effects of asthma, allergy and inflammatory lung diseases.
The success of the Southampton Research group has resulted in a state of the art Bio-medical Research Centre (BRC) which, combined with the Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility, provides Southampton with one of the largest most successful clinical research unit of its type in the UK.