Uni boffins to help in fight against dis­ease

Top team to of­fer in­sight into chronic lung con­di­tion

Paisley Daily Express - - Front Page - Ken­neth Speirs

Pais­ley’s uni­ver­sity is a key part­ner in a new re­search project that has been set up to tackle lung dis­ease.

The € 7.7mil­lion ‘ BREATH’ ( Bor­der and Re­gions Air­ways Train­ing Hub) project, will in­volve a cross-bor­der partnershi­p which in­cludes the Dun­dalk In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy, in the Repub­lic of Ire­land, Queen’s Uni­ver­sity, in Belfast, and Pais­ley’s Uni­ver­sity of the West of Scot­land (UWS).

This EU-funded project aims to es­tab­lish a world-class group of re­searchers who will help ad­dress the causes, treat­ment and po­ten­tial pre­ven­tion of chronic ob­struc­tive pul­monary dis­ease (COPD).

Pro­fes­sor John Lock­hart, di­rec­tor of UWS’s In­sti­tute of Bio­med­i­cal and En­vi­ron­men­tal Health Re­search, said: “This ex­cit­ing, new col­lab­o­ra­tive pro­gramme will pro­vide ma­jor in­sights into lung dis­ease in south west Scot­land, help iden­tify bet­ter treat­ments and pos­si­ble pre­ven­tions, and also en­hance re­gional pub­lic aware­ness.”

Dr Gary Lither­land, of UWS, added: “By com­bin­ing ef­forts of aca­demic, clin­i­cal and in­dus­try part­ners, this award will trans­form COPD re­search in re­gions of great need.”

COPD is an in­cur­able res­pi­ra­tory con­di­tion char­ac­terised by pro­gres­sive air­flow re­duc­tion, breath­ing dif­fi­cul­ties and i r re­versible lung dam­age (em­phy­sema).

It sig­nif­i­cantly im­pairs qual­ity of life and has a high cost to health ser­vices and the wider econ­omy. In 2011, the an­nual eco­nomic bur­den of COPD across the EU was es­ti­mated at ap­prox­i­mately €141.4 bil­lion.

Gina McIn­tyre, CEO of the Spe­cial EU Pro­grammes Body (SEUPB), re­spon­si­ble for man­ag­ing the EU pro­gramme, said: “This EU-funded project will es­tab­lish a world-class clus­ter of re­searchers who, by work­ing in partnershi­p, will make a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence to the fight against a de­bil­i­tat­ing health is­sue which ef­fects many peo­ple liv­ing across the UK and Ire­land.

“Work­ing on a cross- bor­der ba­sis, the project part­ners will be able to share in­for­ma­tion and pro­duce data that can help im­prove the qual­ity of life for peo­ple liv­ing on both sides of the bor­der.

“It will also pro­vide ex­cel­lent de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for a num­ber of PhD stu­dents and has strong po­ten­tial to cre­ate spin-off ben­e­fits for all those in­volved.”

UWS re­search team L-R Dr Carl Goodyear, of Glas­gow Uni­ver­sity, who is also an hon­orary se­nior re­search fel­low at UWS, Pro­fes­sor John Lock­hart, Dr Gary Lither­land and Dr Anne Crilly

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