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The University of Southampton
Institute for Life Sciences

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

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 appointed 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 200 articles in peer reviewed journals, authored or edited 3 books and 7 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. In 2015, he was awarded the prestigious Jack Pepys award by the British Society of Allergy & Clinical Immunology of outstanding contribution to the science of allergy and immunology.


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 , 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, (ii) Prevention of asthma and allergy, (iii) pathogenetic mechanisms in the development and persistence of asthma and allergy and (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. The birth cohort participants are being assessed currently at 26 years. 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 in the STELAR project that has been funded by the Medical Research Council.  Other collaborations include European network of birth cohorts such as GALEN, CHICO and MeDALL (funded by the EU).

A further project relates to the recruitment of children born to the participants of the Isle of Wight birth cohort (now aged 26) 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 Centre, 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 showed a significant reduction of allergen sensitisation in the treated group at 18 months.  Assessment at 3 years has just completed and 6 year assessment will commence in June 2016.

( 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 Centre, 300 infants at high and 60 infants at low heredity risk of allergy were recruited from birth. In collation with LA Jolla Institute of Allergy and Immunology, we are investigating epigenetic markers associated with immune response genes that lead to the dwevelopment of asthma (b)  Causes of persistence and remission of adolescent 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.  Recently, we have won a 5 year project grant from NIH, in collaboration with University of Bristol (UK) and Memphis (USA) to study epigenetic factors in adolescent asthma.

(iv) Food/Nut allergy : Professor Arshad has investigated the prevalence, natural history and diagnosis of food allergy, particularly peanut and brazil nut allergies over two decades in collaboration with Professor Tara Dean adn Dr Carina Venter of Portsmouth University.  Further studies are planned to investigate the role of component resolved diagnosis in food allergy and role of opral immunobiology as a novel treatment of food allergy.

Research group

Clinical and Experimental Sciences

Affiliate research group

Respiratory and allergy Research group

Postgraduate student supervision


2002 Ramesh Kuruklulaaratchy DM (Now working as consultant and hon. senior lecturer at University of Southampton, UK).
2006 Alireza Sadeghnejad PhD (Now working as assistant professor at Wake-Forest University in North Carolina, USA).
2009 Ike Ogbuanu PhD (Now working as scientist at Centre for Disease Control, Atlanta, USA).
2011 Abid Raza PhD (Now working as scientist at GSK, UK).
2015 Dr Martha Scott (Now working as a consultant at Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, UK).
2015 Dr Sian Evens (Now working at consultant physician at Salisbury Hospital, UK).
2015 Dr Kate Maslin (Now working as post-doc at University of Portsmouth, UK).

1. Dr. Michaelis (Co-supervisor) - PhD (2009-2016: Immunological mechanisms during childhood
2. Dr. Zolkipli (Co-supervisor) - PhD (2010-2016): Primary Prevention of asthma using immunotherapy
3. Dr. Patil (Lead Supervisor) - PhD (2011 - 2016): Epigenetics markers influence allergy risk
4. Dr. Claire Hodgkiss (Lead supervisor) – DM (2015-2018): Epigenetic markers predict the risk of lung function deterioration in young adults
5. Dr. Mohammad Omar Alzahrani (Co-supervisor) - PhD (2015-2019): Role of Basophils in Allergic Diseases
6. Dr. Cherry Alviani (Co-supervisor) - PhD (2017 - 2020): Epigenome-wide association study of childhood asthma

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)

- - Chair of the Adult Allergy Group of the British Society of Allergy & Clinical Immunology

- 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 Allergy Module for BM year 3.


- 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.

ST training:

- Training programme Director for the Wessex region for Allergy and Clinical Immunology

- Educational supervisor of specialist trainee 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
Life Sciences Building (85), Highfield Campus, University of Southampton, SO17 1BJ

Room Number : SGH/LF68/MP810

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