Dr Hans Michael Haitchi is an Associate Professor in Respiratory Medicine & Clinician Scientist within the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton and Honorary Consultant Physician in the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.
Hans Michael trained in Austria, South Africa, UK and USA. He leads a group that investigates the pathogenesis of asthma and other chronic lung diseases. His particular interest is in the role of the asthma susceptibility gene ADAM33 in asthma and influence of the maternal environment on the early origin of lung disease using in vivo and in vitro asthma and allergic airway inflammation research models. A further related interest is developing novel Anti-ADAM33 agents as potential disease modifying asthma treatment.
His research is based in the Faculty of Medicine and NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre Respiratory theme, where he is a principal investigator.
- Study of the asthma susceptibility gene A Disintegrin and Metalloprotease 33 (ADAM33) in early life and adult asthma and other chronic lung diseases.
- Development of novel Anti-ADAM33 agents as potential disease modifying asthma therapy.
- Multiomic study of the influence of the maternal environment (e.g. allergic asthma, obesity) during pregnancy on ADAM33 and other mediators and the early origin of lung disease in the Maternal Environment in Pregnancy (MEP) cohort.
- Study of difficult-to-treat/severe asthma in the Wessex AsThma CoHort of Difficult Asthma (WATCH), a pragmatic real-life longitudinal study of difficult asthma in the clinic.
Dr Haitchi’s group reported ADAM33 expression in the airways (AJRCCM 2005, JACI 2008) and ADAM33 function as a local tissue susceptibility gene for asthma. A soluble and enzymatically active form of ADAM33 (sADAM33) is regulated by TBF-beta (JACI 2019) and human sADAM33 initiates airway remodelling that promotes susceptibility for allergic asthma in early life (JCI-I 2016).
His group proposes a new paradigm in which (p)remodeled airways provide the ‘soil’ for allergic inflammation in susceptible individuals leading to Type 2 allergic airway inflammation and BHR that characterizes asthma.
They also showed that inflammation and remodelling are both suppressed in Adam33 null mice and that airway (p)remodelling is reversible when sADAM33 is arrested in developing lungs (JCI-I 2016), identifying sADAM33 as a novel target for disease modifying therapy in asthma (TV Solent).
In collaboration with Jonathan Watts at the RNA Therapeutics Institute at the University of Massachusetts Medical School they discovered potent ADAM33 antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) (MTNA 2017, Patent WO2018226788), which they are currently developing as a new disease modifying therapy in asthma and other ADAM33 associated lung diseases.
Since sADAM33 is induced in utero by maternal allergic asthma (JACI 2009), their findings may explain why airway remodelling and bronchial smooth muscle are increased in the airways of young children who subsequently progress to develop asthma.
Currently his group are using a multiomic approach to study the impact of maternal allergic asthma during pregnancy on asthma related mediators including ADAM33 in biologic samples collected during caesarean as part of the Maternal Environment in Pregnancy (MEP) study (PI: HMH).
Dr Haitchi is also a Co-I in the real-life longitudinal Wessex AsThma CoHort of Difficult Asthma (WATCH) study.
- MSc, MD & PhD thesis examiner
- Lecturer in Allergic Airways Diseases (AAD) module
- Marker of written assignment of AAD module
- MSc thesis examiner
MSc Biomedical Engineering
- Lecturer in Human Biology & Systems Physiology module
- Marker of written assignment
- MRes project supervisor and examiner
- PhD main supervisor
Bachelor of Medicine (BM) Programme 5
- Personal Academic Tutor
- Tutor and marker of assignments in Cardiopulmonary Systems Course: Year 1 students
- Marker of assignments: Year 3 students.
- Project supervisor: Year 3/4 students in depth & intercalated BSc
- Marker of year 3 projects.
- Previous coordinator of Scientific Basis of Medicine (SBOM) for Respiratory Medicine: Year 3 students.
Nuffield Science School and Colleges Bursaries
- Project supervisor
British Science Association: Creativity in Science and Technology (CREST)
External roles and responsibilities
Having graduated with a Doctor of Medicine in 1990 Dr Haitchi trained as an Emergency Physician and General Practitioner in Austria. In 1996 he moved to South Africa where he completed his specialist training in Internal Medicine with a special interest in Pulmonary Medicine at Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town in 2001. He also graduated with a Master in Medicine (Internal Medicine) in 2020. Coming as Clinical Research Fellow to Southampton in England in 2001 he completed his Doctor of Philosophy in Molecular Biology in 2008 and his Postgraduate Certificate in Education in 2009 and became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). He holds an affiliate membership of the Royal College of Physicians since 2011 and was awarded the title of ‘Privatdozent’ for Pneumology at the Private Medical University Salzburg, Austria in 2014.
Dr Haitchi held a Medical Research Council (MRC) Clinician Scientist Fellowship from 2010 to 2014 in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton. This MRC fellowship took him from 2010-2011 to the USA, where he did research as a visiting scientist and scholar in Professor Whitsett's pulmonary biology lab in Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.
AAIR charity, Asthma UK, BLF, BMA, EPSRC, MRC, MRF, NC3Rs, FoM, Roger Brooke Charitable Trust, Wessex Medical Research.
- UK: Imperial College London, University of Southampton.
- EU: Paracelsus Medical University Salzburg, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute Graz, SHARP-CRC, U-BIOPRED
- USA: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Wayne State University.
- DM, University of Graz, Austria 1990
- MMed (INT), University of Stellenbosch, South Africa 2000
- PhD, University of Southampton, UK 2008
- PGcert, University of Southampton, UK 2009
- MRCP (London), Royal College of Physicians, 2011
- PD, Priv. Doz., Paracelsus Medical University (PMU) Salzburg, Austria 2014
- Associate Professor in Respiratory Medicine & Clinician Scientist, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, UK 2014-present
- Senior Lecturer in Respiratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, UK 2011 – 2014
- MRC Clinician Scientist, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, UK 2010 – 2014
- Visiting Scientist and Scholar, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, US, 2010-2011
- Honorary Consultant Physician, Southampton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, UK, 2009-present
- Clinical Research Fellow, Division of Infection, Inflammation & Repair, School of Medicine, University of Southampton, UK, 2001-2009
- Registrar (Clinical assistant), Stellenbosch University Hospital Tygerberg, Department of Internal Medicine, Cape Town, South Africa, 1996-2001
- House and Medical Officer, Private Hospital “Barmherzige Brüder” and University Hospital Graz, Austria, 1992-1995
- Military assistant medical doctor, Federal Ministry of Defence, Austria, 1991-1992
- Research Fellow, AVL Medical Instruments, Graz, Austria, 1991
- Alain de Weck Travel Grant for 32st Symposium, Collegium International Allergologicum, Mallorca, Spain. (2018)
- "Privatdozent" for Pneumology (2014)
- Alain de Weck Travel Grant for the 29th Symposium, Collegium International Allergologicum, Jeju Island, South Korea (2012)
- Medical Research Council (MRC) Clinician Scientist Fellowship 2009 - 2014 (2009)
- Postdoctoral Oral Presentation Prize at Postdoctoral Association Conference 2009, Southampton UK (2009)
- Asthma UK Travel Award to ERS Congress 2009, Vienna, Austria (2009)
- Royal College of Physicians, London, GB - Young investigator price at Medical Research Society Clinician Scientist in training meeting 2008, London, UK (2008)
- British Lung Foundation, Allen & Hansburys Travel Fellowship to ERS Congress 2006, Munich, Germany (2006)
- British Lung Foundation, Boehringer Ingelheim Travel Fellowship to ERS Congress 2005, Copenhagen, Denmark (2005)
- Pfizer Academic Travel Award to European Respiratory Society (ERS) Congress 2003, Vienna, Austria (2003)