Inflammatory Respiratory Disease | Translational Research Collaboration

Image of human lungs

The NIHR Translational Research Collaboration in inflammatory respiratory disease (TRC) brings together internationally recognised investigators in the UK's leading centres of excellence to carry out early phase research with industry.

Work with the NIHR Inflammatory Respiratory Disease Translational Research Collaboration

This NIHR Translational Research Collaboration carries out outstanding translational research in inflammatory respiratory disease.

Together with industry partners, the TRC focuses on early phase clinical research in patients to identify mechanisms of pathophysiology of disease, or to demonstrate proof of concept or evidence of the validity of new discoveries or treatments.

Who is this for?

The TRC undertake commercial and non-commercial studies with industry partners, and engages with all sectors of the life sciences industry, including Clinical Research Organisations (CROs).

To be suitable for TRC support, a project is expected to:

  • involve one or more industry partners
  • focus on a disease area recognised as a TRC area of expertise
  • bring significant academic value and the opportunity for scientific leadership from the TRC
  • be at an early stage to enable input and feedback on study design and adopt a collaborative approach to study design
  • utilise experimental medicine approaches such as novel exploratory endpoints, biomarkers and stratification strategies
  • have a trial management team or delegated CRO or academic clinical trial unit in place to ensure effective study delivery

The TRC experts will help you to shape your protocol, providing advice on study design. If you already have a fully-developed protocol and are only looking for recruitment sites the NIHR Clinical Research Network will be able to help you. Find out more about this service in the Support my study section of this website.

The TRC can offer scientific advice when there is a clear intent to deliver the study through the TRC, they are not designed to act as stand-alone advisory boards. 

Benefits of working with the TRC

The TRC provide easy access to a network of academic centres and experts embedded in UK universities and NHS hospitals who are available to work collaboratively on early phase clinical studies.

The TRC centres operate to common business processes. This makes it quicker and easier for industry to work with the expert investigators within the NHS.

The TRC provide operational support, including a standard pre-approved non-disclosure agreement, contractual templates and a close working relationship with the NIHR Clinical Research Network for identification of sites.

Areas of expertise

The TRC specialties include:

  • asthma
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary fibrosis (COPD)
  • interstitial lung diseases, in particular idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and sarcoidosis
  • acute lung injury including acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
  • cystic fibrosis and other rare respiratory diseases.

 The TRC regularly reviews areas of unmet need to determine emerging topics of focus for the group. 

TRC in inflammatory respiratory disease academic centres

Lead academic


Professor Ratko Djukanovic University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust; University of Southampton
Professor Peter Barnes Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust; Imperial College London; Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
Dr Lorcan McGarvey Belfast Health and Social Care Trust; Queen's University, Belfast
Professor Stefan Marciniak Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; University of Cambridge
Professor Ling-Pei Ho Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust; University of Oxford
Professor Tim Harrison Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust; The University of Nottingham
Dr Joanna Porter University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust; University College London
Dr David Jackson King's Health Partners Academic Health Science Centre
Professor Chris Brightling University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust; University of Leicester
Professor Dave Singh  Manchester Academic Health Science Centre

Multi-centre trial to test new treatment for chronic cough

Man coughing

A new drug which could offer relief to millions of people affected by chronic cough is now being tested by the NIHR Translational Research Partnership as part of a twelve week clinical trial. The drug, called AF-219, is being developed by US based biotech company, Afferent Pharmaceuticals. It works by selectively blocking the P2X3 receptors stopping the mechanism by which certain airway nerves become hyper-sensitized.

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Study into better targeting of severe asthma treatment

A man having a breathing assessment

The NIHR TRP, with support from global pharmaceutical company Novartis, is running a study into whether the antibody treatment omalizumab can be better targetted in people with severe asthma.
The study is enabling researchers to identify which biomarkers are changed by the treatment. This should make it possible to quickly identify those patients who will get the most benefit from omalizumab treatment, giving them relief from severe symptoms.

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