Associate Professor of Respiratory Medicine
Consultant Respiratory Physician
Nuffield Department of Medicine - Respiratory Medicine Unit
Tell us a bit About your role
I am a clinical academic, with clinical research interests in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). I supervise DPhil students, Clinical Research Fellows and Research Nurses. I perform laboratory and clinical single centre or multi-centre clinical trials, including observational and interventional Phase 2-4 studies. My research groups work is translational.
I completed 4 A-Levels in a comprehensive secondary school and was the first student from my school to go to Medical School; and only 1 out of 2 people to go to university in my school year. I studied Medicine at the University of Birmingham and undertook houseman training at East Birmingham Hospital (now Heart of England Hospital), where I first discovered my interest in Respiratory Medicine. After qualifying for my Membership examinations (MRCP) all completed within 18 months, I undertook further respiratory training at the Royal Brompton Hospital and then started my specialist training within the Oxford Deanery. I chose to pursue research, to instigate and stimulate autonomy of thought and succeeded in applying for an MRC funded PhD at the University of Leicester. I returned to clinical medicine training and reflected that I was drawn to the exhilaration of the challenge from research and chose actively to then pursue a clinical academic career. I was appointed as a NIHR Clinical Lecturer and completed my clinical training. I was successful in obtaining an NIHR Postdoctoral Fellowship which I started here in Oxford in January 2014 in addition to becoming a Consultant Physician.
My role fits into the wider landscape of the Medical Sciences as a clinician, an academic, a supervisor and as a teacher. I provide supervision to students in the medical sciences as an advisor, on thesis committees and at transfer and confirmation vivas. I work closely with PI’s in respiratory, immunology, mathematics, microbiology and epidemiology. My contribution also addresses the unmet need of patients with COPD.
What is the most meaningful aspect of your work?
The most meaningful aspects of my work are being able to make a real difference to patients; and to inspire the next generation of young people in seeking knowledge to improve clinical care.
Can you tell us about something you’ve done, contributed to that you’re most proud of?
My three contributions below, are examples, where I, as a woman, have made history.
- Being awarded the Goulstonian Lectureship from the Royal College of Physicians in 2019. I am only the 4th woman in the Royal College 400-year history to have won this; and the 1st ethnic minority woman since 1639 to have done this.
- I am the first to have defined the importance of the peripheral blood eosinophil in the management of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This has influenced both national and international guidelines.
- I am the first to redefine and rename the ‘exacerbation’ to the COPD Crisis. There has been no change to the name exacerbation since the stethoscope was invented by Rene Laennec in 1835. This will be fundamental to clinical practice change
What changes would you most like to see in the Medical Sciences in the next 100 years?
That the problem of equality and diversity is no longer an issue, because the change has already been met.