Our experts

Looking for an expert to talk about asthma? Our experts regularly speak out in the media about asthma and the work we do at Asthma UK.

Contact the media team to speak to an expert:

0207 786 4949 or mediaoffice@asthma.org.uk.

Kay Boycott, CEO Asthma UK

Kay Boycott, Chief Executive

Bio: Kay has been Chief Executive at Asthma UK since October 2013, having previously worked as Director of Campaigns, Policy and Communications at the housing and homelessness charity Shelter. Kay is a member of the Kings Fund General Advisory Council and has expertise on digital innovation in healthcare. 

Media expertise: Kay is available for interviews about asthma care, health policy, and has a specialist interest in digital health technology and innovation. She has been interviewed by a huge range of media outlets across both print and broadcast media, including Sky News. 

Dr Samantha Walker, Director of Research and Innovation

Bio: Samantha Walker holds a PhD in mechanisms of allergy and asthma, and has worked in the field for over 25 years. Samantha's work on allergies and asthma has been published in a range of research journals including the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Before working at Asthma UK, Samantha held a range of roles including running outpatient clinics, teaching and lecturing healthcare professionals, and running and designing research projects.  

Media expertise: Samantha is available for interviews on a wide range of asthma-related topics including asthma research, pollution, allergies, and asthma care and management. She has previously appeared on Radio 4's Today Programme, BBC Breakfast, ITV News and Sky News.

Dr Andy Whittamore, Clinical Lead at Asthma UK and practising GP with specialist interest in respiratory medicine 

Bio: Andy is a practising GP in Portsmouth and Asthma UK's Clinical Lead. He has worked as a GP for over 15 years, and has a wealth of knowledge about asthma and respiratory care. He has held a range of roles driving innovation and quality improvement around asthma including working for the Primary Care respiratory Society UK, on the Department of Health's Respiratory Programme and on developing national guidelines on asthma. 

Media expertise: Andy is able to provide expert clinical insight on a range of topics including asthma in primary care, digital innovation in asthma care, diagnosis and treatment. He has taken part in a number of interviews for national and regional outlets including the BBC, ITN and Sky and written for a range of publications including GP Online, Healthwatch and People's Friend. 

Joe Farrington-Douglas, Head of Policy and External Affairs

Bio: Joe is a health policy expert with experience working in Government, politics, for think tanks, NHS bodies and charities. He has also worked as a manager for a major NHS hospital in South London. He advises government on behalf of Asthma UK, including on NHS England’s Clinical Reference Group for specialised respiratory services and the National Respiratory Delivery Board overseeing implementation of the NHS Long Term Plan.

Media expertise: Joe has been interviewed on a range of national and local broadcast outlets including BBC Breakfast, Sunday Politics and BBC GNS. He can talk about all areas of health policy issues in relation to asthma including the barriers prescription charges present to people with athe condition. He has also written a number of blogs and articles for local and national current affairs and trade press.

Jessica Kirby and Emma Rubach, Heads of Health Advice (job share)

Bio: Jessica (left) and Emma oversee Asthma UK’s health advice website and other digital products, ensuring people with asthma have easy access to evidence-based, clinically sound asthma management advice wherever and whenever they need it. Before moving to Asthma UK, Jessica was at Cancer Research UK and Emma was Head of Content at the UK’s information and advice service for young people, The Mix.

Media experience: Emma (left) and Jessica regularly offer asthma health advice comment in the press and have appeared on TV and radio across a range of national and regional media outlets. They can provide insight on asthma triggers like pollen and cold weather, using inhalers and spacers, asthma management, and the main barriers and challenges people with asthma face to managing their condition and reducing the risk of asthma attacks.

Dr Erika Kennington, Head of Research

Bio: Erika Kennington holds a PhD from Kings College London and has worked as a research funder in the charity and not-for-profit sector for 10 years. Her role encompasses medical research funding strategy, research programme management, assessment of the impact of research and influencing investment in research. Prior to Asthma UK, she worked as a published researcher in both industry and academia across a number of biomedical and health disciplines. 

Media expertise: Erika regularly comments on asthma research in national and regional outlets, and has taken part in several regional broadcast interviews. 

Krisnah Poinasamy, Research and Innovation Influencing Lead

Bio: Krisnah oversees Asthma UK's policy development and influencing activity,  including a focus on what investment is needed in asthma research. He has worked in the charity sector for over 10 years for a range of organisations including Oxfam. Krisnah holds a Masters degree in Human Rights Law from the University of Nottingham.

Media expertise: Krisnah has been interviewed for a range of media including national newspapers, online outlets and radio. He is able to provide insight on key policy changes that could improve the lives of people with asthma including talking about our campaign to stop asthma prescription charges, the need to secure transnational investment into research, and our work to influence the NHS to commit to a trial of smart inhalers.