A spotlight on Leeds: braced for impact

Leeds landscape
10 Dec 2019

Ahead of our Annual Scientific Meeting 2020, we have a blog from our hosts – the University Leeds. The University of Leeds formally joined the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research network as part of our renewal earlier this year, having been affiliated with the Centre since 2017. Below they highlight some of the activity going on in the region, showcasing why Leeds is well placed to host the next ASM!

In celebration of the partnership between University of Leeds, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research (AUKCAR) and their successful renewal grant in 2019, we proposed Leeds as the host city of the 2020 AUKCAR Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM). We were delighted when we heard the city had been chosen!

Connections and collaborations

As well as the fantastic opportunity the meeting will bring for us to connect and build relationships with local key influencers, there are other positive outcomes from this partnership. These include the strengthening of collaborations between academics in the School of Healthcare and clinicians (medical and non-medical) at Leeds Children’s Hospital, University of Edinburgh and two AUKCAR matched funded studentships hosted by the School of Healthcare, University Leeds.

PhD studentships

The first of these two studentships commenced in October 2019 when we were thrilled to welcome Grace Lewis to the School of Healthcare. Grace’s MPH focused on participating in a harm-reduction intervention to promote smoke-free homes to improve child health, in disadvantaged settings. Broadly, her PhD will focus on understanding the management of known childhood asthma allergens by children and their families, and the best way they can be supported. Professor Jürgen Schwarze, Edward Clark Chair of Child Life and Health, Centre for Inflammatory Research, University of Edinburgh is on the supervisory team. We are looking forward to announcing a second PhD studentship in 2020 and developing future grant applications. 

Generating impact

Our research and clinical interests are focused on the experiences of children and young people with asthma and their families and the development of interventions to enhance the quality of and engagement in asthma consultations that offer individualised self-management support. The timing of the AUKCAR ASM is perfect as it will give us the opportunity to discuss Grace’s PhD and other potential topics with key local influencers, to ensure meaningful and high impact asthma research.

The main reason for this is because the first day of the ASM will be open to external key influencers across academia, NHS partners, industry and business from the Yorkshire and Humber region which maximises opportunities for current and future research and impact studies. Examples of innovation and partnerships to facilitate this are seen in the recently launched Nexus (University of Leeds), a community that aims to connect leading research with business for maximum impact on the population around Yorkshire and Humber.

In addition, the Leeds Academic Health Partnership is situated in the University and brings together health and care organisations and the city council in order to achieve the aim for Leeds to be the best city for health and well-being by 2021. These initiatives give a clear message that there is momentum, support and investment to enhance the health and well-being of children and families across the region particularly in light of the announcement that a new Leeds Children’s Hospital is to be built by 2025.

Leeds is a city well placed to host the AUKCAR ASM with the aim to enhance the impact of the excellent research coming out of the Centre and its’ many partners.


Dr Linda Milnes, Associate Professor, School of Healthcare, University Leeds

Dr Alistair Duff, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Head of Psychology Services, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Honorary Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Healthcare at the University of Leeds

Dr Alex Adams, Consultant in Paediatric Respiratory Medicine at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Grace Lewis, PhD student, School of Healthcare, University of Leeds

© 2015 AUKCAR