The remit of the Respiratory Specialty Group is to support a national portfolio of structured research studies in the field of respiratory medicine.
The Group has wide geographical coverage, with 24 of the 25 Comprehensive Local Research Networks having nominated a lead in this area as well as representatives from all 3 devolved nations. One of the main purposes of the Specialty Group is to ensure that clinical research studies in respiratory medicine deliver to target by developing and supporting a research infrastructure within the specialty which promotes engagement of the respiratory clinical community and provides the local support necessary to undertake high quality research studies within the NHS.
The Respiratory Specialty Group’s portfolio includes:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Interstitial lung disease
- Pulmonary infection including tuberculosis
- Pulmonary malignancy
- Pleural disease
- Sleep and breathing disorders
- Disorders affecting the chest wall and respiratory muscles
There are many areas of overlap between the respiratory Specialty Group and other Specialty Groups and NIHR Topic Specific Research Networks. In general, the Respiratory Specialty Group will take the lead on research studies which are led by respiratory physicians, or have significant input from the gastroenterology community.
Research studies of cancers of the respiratory tract fall within the remit of the National Cancer Research Network (NCRN) but are co-adopted by the Respiratory Specialty Group where there is input from chest physicians;
Pulmonary infections will generally be led by the Respiratory Specialty Group (co-adopted by the Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Specialty Group) unless the research does not involve chest physicians;
Respiratory studies conducted in intensive care units will generally be led by the Critical Care Speciality Group but are co-adopted by the Respiratory Specialty Group where there is input from chest physicians. Conversely studies of non-invasive ventilation will generally be led by the Respiratory Specialty Group but are co-adopted by the Critical Care Speciality Group where they are also inputting to patient recruitment.
Surgical interventions in the lungs will generally be led by the Surgery Specialty Group (co-adopted by the Respiratory Specialty Group) unless the research is being led by chest physicians;
There are many studies were patient identification is best done in Primary Care but the study conduct may be at a secondary care site. In these cases co-adoption with the Primary Care Topic Specific network will occur with the lead Group being decided on where the clinical research is predominantly conducted.
The Respiratory Specialty Group will work closely with the British Thoracic Society, and other stakeholders, to ensure that new developments in the field of respiratory research are informed by a national clinical research strategy and can be successfully delivered in the NHS setting.
Specialty Group Lead: Professor Emma Baker
Professor Emma Baker is Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at St. George’s University London. Her clinical specialty is respiratory medicine and she has a particular interest in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Professor Baker leads a translational research group at St. George’s University London, funded by the NIHR, Wellcome Trust and British Lung Foundation. Key research themes include epithelial transport, infection and inflammation, particularly relating to COPD exacerbations. She leads the St George’s University London Respiratory Research Network and is enthusiastic about developing networks and links to support clinical trials in respiratory medicine across south London.
Professor Baker is a Trustee of the British Pharmacological Society, Executive Editor of the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, fellow of the Higher Education Academy and author of an undergraduate textbook in respiratory medicine.