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The University of Southampton
Health SciencesOur research

Breathing Project Cluster

Breathing problems can be life-threatening, but even when less serious they can produce frightening symptoms and reduce quality of life. Our research aims to find novel solutions to the monitoring, assessment and treatment of breathing problems using innovative research approaches and health technologies.


Staff: Anne Bruton (Lead), Claire Chadwick , Joy Conway, Maggie Donovan-Hall, Rob Shannon, Debbie Thackray

PhD Students: Abdulaziz Alzahrani, Wei Ambrose Lo, Lis Arnold, Adam Lewis, Surrussawadi Mackawan
Rob Shannon, Roxy Tehrany

DClinP students: Mohammed Alhusaini


This involves developmental studies and clinical trials to increase our understanding of normal respiratory function and to find effective ways of managing acute and chronic respiratory disorder conditions (such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and other conditions in which breathing might be affected.

The ultimate aim is to enable active living and healthy ageing, whilst minimising the limitations caused by respiratory problems.

Research Approaches

A key feature of our research is its sound multidisciplinary base, primarily involving health and engineering disciplines. Research approaches include; basic science laboratory-based studies of physiological mechanisms behind normal respiratory function and dysfunction; applied developmental studies of technologies for diagnosis, monitoring and therapy; development of clinical and home-based respiratory therapies; qualitative exploration of reasons for patient adherence to respiratory therapies and clinical trials of treatment effectiveness.

Both quantitative and qualitative techniques are employed in all areas, with mixed methods being an essential ingredient in clinical trials.



Breathing research in the School of Health Sciences is linked closely with the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, and the Southampton NIHR Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit, a multidisciplinary team of clinical and academic researchers. Our projects involve active collaboration across the University, with other research institutions nationally and worldwide, with the commercial and voluntary sectors, and with user representatives and groups (see projects).

Health Technologies

We are recognised internationally for technological developments and innovative applications in computerised lung sound analysis, portable oxygen therapy devices and breathing retraining techniques for asthma.

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