Uni boffins to help in fight against disease
Top team to offer insight into chronic lung condition
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