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Professor Syed Hasan Arshad MBBS, DM, FRCP

Professor of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Director of the David Hide Asthma and Allergy Research Centre, Isle of Wight.

Professor Syed Hasan Arshad's photo
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Professor Hasan Arshad is Professor of Allergy and Clinical Immunology within Medicine at the University of Southampton and lead allergy research at Southampton and the Isle of Wight.

The holy grail of asthma and allergy research is to prevent their development in children. That has been my passion for over 20 years and I believe we will achieve this in the not too distant future

Professor Arshad was appointed to the Chair of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in 2009. He is also a consultant Physician at Southampton University Hospital Trust and Director of The David Hide Asthma and Allergy Research Centre in Isle of Wight. Having graduated in Medicine from the University of Karachi, he trained in General Medicine and then specialised in Respiratory Medicine in the UK. He completed his DM from Southampton University working on prediction and prevention of asthma and allergic disease. Following a post-doc fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and a Senior Lectureship at Keele University, he was appointment to his current position in Southampton.

Professor Arshad leads a group that investigates natural history, genetic and environmental risk factors and prevention of asthma and allergic disease. He is a clinical epidemiologist with expertise in birth cohort studies, clinical trials, and the immunological and genetic basis of asthma and allergy. His research is based within the Faculty of Medicine and at The David Hide Asthma and Allergy Research Centre on the Isle of Wight. The group includes both clinical and non-clinical scientists, clinical research fellows and nurses.

In the last 10 years, Professor Arshad has attracted grants of over £10 million, published over 100 articles in peer reviewed journals, authored or edited 9 books and 6 book chapters, and supervised several MSc, DM and PhD students. He has contributed to national and international guidelines, including the European guidelines for asthma and allergy prevention and National Institute of Health (US) guidelines for the diagnosis and management of food allergy. He is also a member of the expert panel of the National Institute of Health (US), to review grants and formulate strategy for research. He was awarded Pfizer Visiting Professor to the Michigan State University, Michigan, USA in 2004 and recently his David Hide Centre team won the "excellence in research" award at the Isle of Wight NHS Trust annual award ceremony.


MBBS, Medicine and Surgery, Dow Medical College, (1979)
MRCP, Medicine, Royal College of Physicians (UK), (1986)
DM, Allergy, University of Southampton, (1993)
FRCP, Medicine, Royal College of Physicians (London), (2002)

Appointments held

Clinical Research Fellow, David Hide Asthma and Allergy Centre and University of Southampton. 1988-2002

Post-doctorate Fellow, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland. 1993-1994

Consultant Physician, St. Mary’s Hospital, Isle of Wight and Director of David Hide Asthma and Allergy Research Centre, Isle of Wight. 1997-2003

Senior lecturer, Keele University, Keele, Staffordshire. 2003-2007

Reader, III Research Division, University of Southampton. 2007-2009

Professor of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, University of Southampton. 2009-present






Research interests

Asthma and allergy and major public health problems and their prevalence are increasing. Professor Arshad’s research covers 4 linked areas; (i) epidemiology, genetic, epigenetic and environmental risk factors in asthma and allergy including the link between obesity and asthma, (ii) allergy prevention, (iii) pathogenetic mechanisms in the development and persistence of asthma and allergy (iv) prevalence and diagnosis of food allergy. His research aims to improve the understanding of the development and persistence of asthma and allergic disease and test novel strategies for primary prevention.

(i) Epidemiology, natural history, genetic and environmental risk factors and epigenetic mechanisms in the origins and progression of asthma and allergy: Professor Arshad recruited the Isle of Wight birth cohort and has overseen regular assessments of these children from birth to 18 years of age. He oversees a programme of studies investigating gene-gene and gene-environment interactions and epigenetic regulation in the development of asthma and allergy, using the longitudinally collected cohort data and samples. These studies have been supported by several project grants from the National Institute of Health, USA. There is close collaboration with national and international groups working in this area. He holds joint grants and publications with Professor Karmaus, an epidemiologist from the University of South Carolina and Professor Ewart, a geneticist at Michigan State University. He also collaborates with investigators leading other UK birth cohorts such as Manchester Asthma Study funded by Medical Research Council and European network of birth cohorts (funded by EU).

A further project relates to the recruitment of children born to the participants of the Isle of Wight birth cohort (now aged 24) into a study investigating genetic, epigenetic, and environmental exposures in the development of asthma and allergic disease. Specifically, he is investigating if certain environmental factors influence genetic expression via epigenetic mechanism (e.g. DNA methylation), if the effect on immune responses can be passed on to the subsequent generation and what factors inhibit or reverse this process. Another aim is to predict disease development using epigenentic markers.

(ii) Primary and secondary prevention of asthma and allergy: His translational studies in this research area are funded by the National Institute of Health Research. The Isle of Wight primary prevention study was the first to test the effectiveness of a strict food and house dust mite allergen avoidance regime during infancy aimed at preventing allergic disease in high risk children. Contrary to findings of single allergen reduction strategies that have little or no clinical effect, the use of multifaceted interventions started from birth reduced allergic sensitisation and asthma by 25% to 50% (compared to control group). Another ongoing project, as part of the Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit, is investigating the effect of house-dust mite sub-lingual immunotherapy for primary prevention of asthma and allergy in high risk children. The first results of this randomised controlled trial will be available in 2014.

(iii) Understanding the mechanism of development and persistence of asthma. (a) Early life immune responses and development of allergic disease: As part of the Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit, 300 infants at high and 60 infants at low heredity risk of allergy were recruited from birth. Assessments and sample collection during early childhood will improve understanding of the development of immune responses in early life and how immune tolerance develops naturally or induced, for example, by allergen immunotherapy. (b) Activation of the epithelial mesenchymal trophic unit (EMTU) and persistence of asthma: Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the conducting airways with distinct structural and functional abnormalities. In a Medical Research Council funded programme grant, adolescents from the birth cohort, with persistent and remitted asthma, were recruited and further characterized to assess airway function, bronchial responsiveness and atopy. Bronchial brushings and biopsies were obtained for immunohistochemistry and tissue engineering studies investigating activation of the EMTU and tissue remodelling in vivo and in vitro.

(iv) Food/Nut allergy: Professor Arshad has investigated the prevalence, natural history and diagnosis of peanut and brazil nut allergies over two decades. Recently, in association with Professor Tara Dean of Portsmouth University, he has assessed the prevalence of food sensitization and allergy in four cohorts of children on the Isle of Wight. Further studies are planned to investigate the role of component resolved diagnosis in food allergy and immunobiology of food allergy.

Academic unit(s)

Clinical and Experimental Sciences Academic Units

Affiliate academic unit(s)

Respiratory and allergy Research group

Postgraduate student supervision


1998 Diana Eccleston MSc.
2002 Ramesh Kuruklulaaratchy DM
2006 Alireza Sadeghnejad PhD
2009 Ike Ogbuanu PhD
2011 Abid Raza PhD


1. Dr. Scott (Lead Supervisor) - DM (2009-2014): Primary prevention of asthma
2. Dr. Evens (Lead Supervisor) - DM (2011-2014): Persistance and remission of asthma
3. Dr. Michaelis (Co-supervisor) - PhD (2009-2013): Immunological mechanisms during childhood
4. Dr. Zolkipli (Co-supervisor) - PhD (2010-2014): Primary Prevention of asthma using immunotherapy
5. Dr. Patil (Lead Supervisor) - PhD (2011 - 2014): Epigenetics markers influence allergy risk
6. Miss Maslin (Co-supervisor) - PhD (2012-2015): Hydrolysed formulae in infancy influence taste in later childhood

7. Dr. Ziyab (Co-supervisor) - PhD (2010-2014): Obesity influences asthma and lung function (University of Memphis, US)


Expert Panel Member:

- NICE Diagnostic Advisory Committee for Exhaled Nitric Oxide in asthma (2012-2014)

- European Food Allergy guidelines committee (2012-2013)

- NIH (USA) Food Allergy guidelines committee (2009-2010)

- NIH (USA) Strategy for primary prevention of asthma (2011)

- NIH (USA) Birth Cohorts strategy (2012)


Expert Panel member of grant awarding bodies:

- RfPB South Central NIHR (2012-2014)

- NIH USA (since 2011)

- FP7-European Union (2009-2010)


Other National and International responsibilities:

- Council member of the British Society of Allergy & Clinical Immunology (2012-2014) and member, European Academy of Allergology & Clinical Immunology (2013)

- Associate Editor of the journal, Clinical & Experimental Allergy (since 2012)

- Invited Speaker and Session Chair at several National and International conferences (since 2001)

- Director, The David Hide Asthma and Allergy Research Centre, Isle of Wight: Formulate research strategy, supervise and bring funding to support research and education (since 1997)

- Organiser, Wessex Allergy Network (since 2007)

- Reviewer for international journals

- Pharma Industry collaboration to promote research in the UK (2011-cont.)

- Trustee, department charity: Asthma, Allergy and Inflammation Research (since 2008)




 - Lead role to develop Allergy curriculum for the BM course

 - Coordinator and teacher for the SSU Respiratory Module for BM year 3 until July 2013



 - MSc. Allergy, As food Allergy Module leader, organizes teaching for this modules, delivers lectures and group based teaching and mark assignments and dissertations.

 - Coordinate an overseas fellowship programme in allergy.


BM 3 and 4:

(until July 2013) As SSU Respiratory module coordinator, deliver lectures, organizes teaching and training by Respiratory Department at Southampton General Hospital and conduct assessments at the end of the module.


ST training:

Supervisor of specialist trainees in Allergy at Southampton General hospital.


Academic Foundation Programme:

As coordinator of Academic Foundation Programme, mentor and supervises F2 trainees.


GP/Trainee Education:

- Organise GP education days

- GP teaching sessions on a regular basis

- allergy registrars' national training day

Professor Syed Hasan Arshad
Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital, Mailpoint 801, South Academic Block, Tremona Road, Southampton, SO16 6YD or Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Building 85, Life Sciences Building, Highfield Campus, Southampton, SO171BJ

Room Number: SGH/LF68/MP810

Telephone: (023) 8120 5756

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