Blog post: We're getting closer to stopping asthma

My name is Dr Hans Michael Haitchi, and thanks to the kindness of supporters like you I’m able to work at the University of Southampton, researching a new treatment that I hope will stop people from ever developing allergic asthma.

I have a personal interest in finding a cure because my wife Gerhild has asthma. Although she has the condition relatively mildly, it can still mean we have to cut short a visit to our friend’s house because the presence of their cat can make her struggle for breath. Gerhild’s sister has more severe asthma – and a second cousin suffered a fatal attack when he was just 21 – with a devastating effect on the family. Hearing his story made me determined to find out more about how deaths like his could be prevented. 

My work has already led to a breakthrough with the discovery of a gene called ADAM33, which can mutate and cause asthma in children. Thanks to your support I have been able to continue my research, working to better understand how ADAM33 causes asthma and looking at ways to switch it off - stopping asthma from ever developing.

Because of you, I have now discovered that when ADAM33 mutates, it produces an enzyme that can change the structure of someone’s airways early in life, possibly even before birth.

With your support, my team are now working on the next stage of the research – looking to develop drugs that stop this from happening. I believe that his work could one day stop asthma from ever developing in children.

Through your continued support, you are helping me to stop asthma attacks and cure asthma.

Thank you,

Dr Hans Michael Haitchi