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The University of Southampton
Medicine

Professor  Jane Lucas BM, FRCPCH, MD PhD

Professor of Paediatric Respiratory Medicine, Honorary Consultant Paediatric Respiratory Medicine

Professor  Jane Lucas's photo

Jane Lucas is a Professor of Paediatric Respiratory Medicine at University of Southampton.

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.

Clinically 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 or viruses. She is investigating associations between patients’ genotypes and their clinical phenotype. She is investigating novel approaches to diagnose PCD. Jane’s programme closely integrates clinical service, research and education, and team compromises clinicians, laboratory scientists and social scientists.

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, supervised by Professors John Warner and Jonathan Hourihane 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 a European Respiratory Society Task Force for Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (2020- ). Jane recently chaired BEAT-PCD (COST Action BM1407 2014-19): 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.

 

Qualifications

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

 

Appointments held

Professor and Honorary Consultant Paediatrician in Allergy in Respiratory Medicine 2015 to date

Reader, Faculty of Medicine University of Southampton 2013

HEFCE Award Senior Lecturer 2006

Research interests

Professor Lucas’s research focuses on improving the diagnosis and management of children with respiratory disease. She also leads research to understand the underlying causes of these diseases, particularly primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) in the anticipation that we will one day be able to treat the condition.

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 (ERS) Task Force to standardise nasal nitric oxide measurement in children for the diagnosis of primary ciliary dyskinesis, and recently led an ERS Task Force (TF-2014-04) which 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 recently chaired BEAT-PCD (COST Action 1407; 2014-19), coordinating a European research programme to develop and improve diagnosis and treatments for PCD.

 

Electron microscopy facility
Electron microscopy facility

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:

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic she repurposed her group’s bio-resource of airway cells to investigate a novel transcript of the viral entry protein ACE-2.

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.

 

Affliated Research Groups

Institute for Life Sciences

NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre

Research group

Clinical and Experimental Sciences

Affiliate research group

Respiratory and allergy Research group

Postgraduate Supervision

Current

2019 to date Jelmer Legebeke (PhD)

2019 to date Amanda Harris (NIHR ICA Pre-doctoral Clinical Academic Fellowship (PCAF)

2018 to date Katie Horton (PhD)

2018 to date Jana Hueppe (PhD)

2015 to date Bruna Rubbo (PhD)

Recent

2018 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

Respiratory Biology Section Lead, School of Clinical and Experimental Sciences

Rare Lung Disease Area Lead, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre

MSc Scholarships and Bursaries Committee (chair)

Athena Swan CES team (mini SAT)                            

Biomedical Imaging Department Steering Committee

AAIR Charity Trustee

Faculty Mentorship scheme

External Responsibilities

European Respiratory Society College of Experts

BEAT-PCD CRC ERS Management Committee and workgroup lead

European Respiratory Society Taskforce Chair: Nasal nitric oxide measurement in children for the diagnosis of primary ciliary dyskinesis: a technical standard.

Asthma UK Research Review Panel

European Respiratory Society Taskforce Chair 2014-6. Evidence based guidelines for PCD Diagnostic Testing.

European Respiratory Society Editorial Board

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Articles

Book

Book Chapters

Conferences

Letters/Editorials

Reviews

Working Paper

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.

Postgraduate Taught

Lectures on the Foundations Module and Allergic Airways Disease Module

MSc Scholarships and Bursaries Committee (chair)

Undergraduate Research

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.

 

 

Professor Jane Lucas
Phone: (023) 8120 6160/ 4315/ 6867 Email: jlucas1@soton.ac.uk

Room Number: SGH/LF105/MP803

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