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The University of Southampton

Professor  Jane Lucas BM, FRCPCH, PhD

Professor of Paediatric Respiratory Medicine, Honorary Consultant Paediatric Respiratory Medicine

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Jane Lucas is a Professor of Paediatric Respiratory Medicine at University of Southampton. Jane leads the national primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) centre in Southampton. Her respiratory research is focused on understanding the pathophysiology of PCD and improving management of patients with this disease. She also investigates the role of ciliated respiratory epithelium in disease and health, including the interaction between cilia and bacteria. Her allergy research includes the early life origins of asthma and allergy, identifying predictive markers of allergy severity, and the psychosocial aspects of food allergies. Jane’s programme closely integrates clinical service, research and education, and team compromises clinicians, laboratory scientists and social scientists.

What I love most about working in Southampton is the shared vision of the University and the Hospital Trust. I am part of a vibrant multidisciplinary team comprising clinicians, scientists, nurses, physiotherapists, epidemiologists and technicians; we are working together to provide excellence in clinical care through research and education.

Having graduated in medicine from the University of Southampton in 1989, she started her career in clinical paediatrics before undertaking specialist training in paediatric allergy and chest medicine. She returned to postgraduate studies at University of Southampton in 2002 graduating with a PhD in 2006. In 2006 Jane was awarded a HEFCE Senior Lectureship, and was appointed to a personal chair in the Faculty of Medicine in 2015.


Jane leads the European Respiratory Society Task Force for Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia.

Jane Chairs BEAT-PCD (COST Action BM1407): a global network coordinating research from basic science to clinical care, with the ultimate goal to develop treatments that lead to improvements in long-term outcome of patients with PCD (link to




PhD, School of Medicine, University of Southampton (2005)
Membership of the Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health (1997)
Membership of the Royal College of Physicians (1994)
Diploma of Anaesthetics, Royal College of Anaesthetists (1993)
Bachelor of Medicine, University of Southampton (1998)
FRCP (2011)
FRCPCH (2011)

Research interests

Professor Lucas’s research focuses on improving the diagnosis and management of children with allergic and respiratory disease. She also leads research to understand the underlying causes of these diseases in the anticipation that we will one day be able to prevent allergy and chest diseases in children.

Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia

Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD) is a relatively rare disease that causes chronic lung disease, rhinosinusitis, glue ear and infertility. Jane leads a national centre to diagnose PCD in adults and children, and runs a specialist clinic for children with the disease.

Jane is leading research to ensure that children with PCD stay healthy throughout childhood. Early diagnosis is important to prevent irreversible lung damage, but current investigations are difficult to perform and often lead to inconclusive results. She is therefore investigating novel methods to improve diagnosis.  She chairs the European Respiratory Society Task Force (TF-2014-04) which has published the first evidence-based guidelines for the diagnosis of PCD.

Once diagnosed, there is no cure for PCD, and recurrent infections associated with irreversible deterioration in lung function can occur despite adherence to treatment guidelines. Janes’ team are investigating how the ciliated respiratory epithelium interacts with bacterial infections in health and disease with an aim to understand how to prevent and treat infection, thus avoiding the progressive deterioration in lung disease.   Jane is leading an international programme of research investigating the bio-psycho-social model of PCD.  She is leading an international collaboration to develop and validate tools to monitor disease progression in PCD. Professor Lucas chairs BEAT-PCD (COST Action 1407), coordinating a European research programme to develop and improve diagnosis and treatments for PCD.

Translating expertise from PCD to other respiratory diseases

Professor Lucas’ laboratories house state-of-the-art equipment for studying ciliated respiratory epithelium including high speed video microscopy, TEM and SEM, with close access to laser scanning confocal microscopes. This enables accurate characterisation of ciliary beat frequency and pattern, and epithelial and ciliary ultra structure. As part of the diagnostic portfolio, her scientific team routinely culture primary epithelial cells at an air liquid interface (ALI), re-differentiating the cilia.  Jane is utilising this expertise and ready access to patient samples in a number of ways. For example:

  • Extending our clinical ALI-culture to a co-culture model which is being used to understand how bacteria interact with the respiratory epithelium in health and disease.
  • The effect of drugs and other extrinsic factors on ciliary function has received little attention. Using the ALI cell culture model the epithelium is treated with extrinsic factors including drugs to measure effect on factors such as ciliary function, inflammatory markers, and epithelial integrity. This model is being used in pre-clinical trials of drugs and or molecules.

Allergy and asthma

Professor Lucas’s allergy and asthma research program included understanding the influence of environmental exposures, including diet, during pregnancy and early postnatal life, on lung and immune development. The early life origin of allergic diseases provides a potential to prevent or ameliorate allergic disease.

There is currently no cure for food allergy, and patients are required to strictly avoid potential allergens, and carry emergency treatment in case of accidental exposure. Professor Lucas is currently exploring the challenges for people with food allergy and intolerance when purchasing food or eating out.





Clinical and Experimental Sciences

Affiliate Department(s)

Respiratory and allergy Research group

Postgraduate Supervision


2018 to date Katie Horton (PhD)
2018 to date Jana Hueppe (PhD)
2015 to date Bruna Rubbo (PhD)
2014 to date Richard Hamshaw (PhD- Bath University)


2017 Samuel Collins, PhD
2016 Laura Behan PhD
2015 Woolf Walker PhD
2011 to 2014 Dr Katherine Pike Postdoctoral Clinical Lecturer
2011 Hilary Whitworth PhD
2011 Gary Stiefel MSc Allergy
2011 Caroline Kerrigan MSc Allergy
2010 Katherine Pike PhD
2010 Claire Powell PhD


Faculty of Medicine and University

NIHR Training Lead, Respiratory Biomedical Research Centre (Respiratory and Critical Care Theme)
Respiratory Biology Section Leader, Clinical and Experimental Sciences Academic Unit
Rare Lung Disease Area Leader, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre
Southampton Academy of Research (SOAR) Committee
MSc Allergy Scholarships and Bursaries Committee (chair)
Athena Swan CES team (SAT)                            
Biomedical Imaging Department Steering Committee
BM6 selection group
AAIR Charity Trustee
Faculty Mentorship scheme

External Responsibilities

Chair European Respiratory Society PCD Task Force (ERS-TF-2014-04)
Chair COST Action BM1407: Better Evidence to Advance Therapeutic options for PCD (BEAT-PCD)
European Respiratory Society College of Experts
Work Group Leader EU-FP7 BEST-CILIA (305404)
European Respiratory Journal Editorial Board  (Impact Factor 12.24)                                          
Asthma UK Research Review Panel
PCD UK Support Group- Medical Advisory Board Member
Swiss National Science Foundation: SNSF Professorships and Eccellenza Evaluation Committees (Biologie und Medizin)


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Book Chapters




Working Paper

MSc Allergy. Lectures on the Foundations Module and Allergic Airways Disease Module

MMedSc and BMedSc. I offer two paediatric respiratory projects. Depending on the interests of the student these can be primarily clinical, epidemiology or laboratory project placements. The majority of previous students have presented their data at national or international meetings and have published the data.

Postgraduate research. I supervise clinical and non-clinical PhD students in respiratory research. In addition I offer short term laboratory placements on the 4 year Respiratory PhD program. Students can gain experience in the PCD laboratory in areas including imaging techniques (eg. living cell imaging, scanning and transmission EM, confocal), primary cell culture and developing in vitro models.  Clinical research includes physiology, epidemiology, qualitative methods and clinical trials.


Professor Jane Lucas
Phone: (023) 8120 6160/ 4315/ 6867 Email:

Room Number: SGH/LF105/MP803

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