Professor Stephen Holgate
For over 30 years Southampton has been a lead centre in research into lung diseases, especially asthma and allergies. We have been most effective through our focus on building high quality basic and clinical science to translate basic science discoveries into patient benefit – translational research. Our current focus is on asthma, rhinitis, food allergy, virus lung diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and bronchitis and anaphylaxis. AAIR has played an absolutely crucial role in enabling this by supporting our research effort and more recently by building capacity for research driven by investing in young people through PhD studentships and support for clinical training fellows. With wide ranging interests from genetic through to environmental causes of these disorders and a major interest in prevention and treatment, I hope to continue both nationally and internationally to support efforts to make serious inroads into common lung disease that effects so many people.
Our Trustees provide the outstanding stewardship and guidance that has helped our Charity so much to continue on its successful mission.
Professor Peter Howarth
Professor Peter Howarth is Professor of Allergy and Respiratory Medicine and Honorary Consultant Physician with a clinical and research focus on asthma, particularly severe asthma, and allergy. Professor Howarth jointly runs the Difficult Airways Service in Southampton, which provides a secondary and tertiary referral service for those whose asthma is proving difficult to control, and established the Clinical Allergy Service in Southampton, which now, with colleagues, provides a clinical Allergy and Immunology service for the Wessex region. This close patient involvement provides the basis for his translational research programme and the appreciation of the unmet clinical needs in asthma and allergy.
Professor Howarth is Head of the Clinical Studies Forum in the Clinical and Experimental Science (CES) Research division within the Faculty of Medicine, coordinating clinical and translational human based research as well as clinical trials, lead for “Airways disease” within the CES research division and area lead for “Airways disease” within the NIH funded Respiratory Bioscience Research Unit in Southampton. Professor Howarth has participated in European Union funded collaborative research programmes, such as BIOAIR and GA2LEN, focusing respectively on severe asthma and allergic diseases, and is currently closely involved in UBIOPRED, a EU/EFPIA funded IMI programme on severe asthma.
Professor Howarth is involved with allergy specialist training, being regional advisor on allergy training and a member of the standing advisory committee for Allergy and Immunology at The Royal College of Physicians. He has contributed to National, European and International (World Health Organisation) guidelines on the management of rhinitis and asthma. Professor Howarth has been on the council of The British Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, advisor on allergy to Asthma UK and has been chairman of the board of trustees of Allergy UK. He is currently President of Allergy UK as well as a trustee of AAIR.
Professor Donna Davies
Professor Donna Davies, Deputy Director of Allergy and Inflammation Research and Director of Research in the Brooke Laboratories at Southampton Medical School and currently chair of the AAIR Trustees. Professor Davies is also a scientific adviser to the AAIR Trustees and wholeheartedly supports AAIR’s activities.
“The AAIR Charity does a fantastic job in providing critical funding to support research into asthma and allergy. Not only does it support early stage projects and PhD student training, but it also helps us to buy new and exciting pieces of equipment to help us with our research. The Charity is highly responsive to our needs and this can really help us to move forward quickly when we have new ideas. Allergies and lung diseases are a major cause of suffering for people in the UK. We are keen to help alleviate this suffering and we are very grateful to everyone who supports our work through donations to the AAIR Charity.
Frank has been with the Charity as a founder Trustee and Director AAIR since it’s launch in 1991. Frank originally came to Southampton after working for 8 years in medical research in Canada and America. He joined the research unit at Southampton General Hospital in 1977 and over time progressed from working in research to being the Divisional Manager for Finance and Administration.
Research into asthma and allergy has always and will always be close to his heart as he looks forward to help assist the charity in finding cures for these common and debilitating conditions.
Professor Graham Roberts
I am an academic paediatrician specialising in allergy and respiratory medicine at the University of Southampton and Southampton University Hospital NHS Trust. My research interests focus on the epidemiology of paediatric asthma and allergic diseases and the development of improved clinical management strategies for these diseases. I became a trustee of the AAIR charity as I have seen the benefits of a truly local charity supporting research into an area that affects so many children and adults in our locality.
Professor Jane Lucas
I am a pediatrician looking after children with respiratory and allergic conditions. I also lead the national Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD) Centre in Southampton, diagnosing and looking after people with this rare inherited lung disease.
My research includes understanding why children develop allergies and asthma, and why these diseases are particularly severe in some children. I am also investigating how to treat patients with PCD and allergies, using patient-centered approaches.
Over the years I have been impressed by the contribution AAIR has made to research of respiratory disease and allergies, providing equipment and supporting PhD students. I am delighted to be a Trustee, with the opportunity this provides to support the work of the Charity.
Laurence Dunn is a specialist employment lawyer jointly running his own practice, DC Employment Solicitors, here in Southampton.
Laurence joined AAIR as a Trustee in 2013 and says of his role “The work of AAIR is absolutely vital and I wanted to lend my support to the existing Trustees and volunteer fundraisers. I have a special interest in assisting AAIR as my son was asthmatic from birth.”
With his partner working in the Faculty of Medicine on cancer research Laurence has a strong bond with the University of Southampton.
Having done fundraising for many years, Laurence is a serious cyclist in his spare time and has completed several charity events fundraising for AAIR including cycling 550 miles across Belgium and Germany for The Rad Vlaanderen Stuttgart Challenge.
His firm DC Employment Solicitors sponsor Olympic gold medal winning track cyclist Dani King and in 2013 Laurence hosted a fundraising dinner honouring her achievements which generated further much needed funds for AAIR.
Dr. Jo Slater-Jefferies
Dr. Jo Slater-Jefferies joined the AAIR charity in 2010 whilst working within The University of Southampton Faculty of Medicine. Jo has a PhD in Molecular Biology and a MBA, she has moved from carrying out research in the laboratory to managing clinical and basic research both locally and with international partners.
‘I am extremely proud to be a Trustee of the AAIR charity, the charity provides essential support to Asthma & Allergy Research being carried out at Southampton. On a personal note, I am the mother of two young boys and with the incidence of asthma and allergic related illnesses increasing I am privileged to be part of a charity that provides support to childhood illnesses.’