Since 2011, we have funded the MRC-Asthma UK Centre. The Centre is a based jointly at King's College London and Imperial College London.
The Centre is a world-leading hub of asthma research, investigating a range of areas of asthma, working to understand the biology underlying the condition and working towards better ways to treat it.
The Centre supports asthma research leaders and the next generation of asthma research leaders, all working on challenges at the cutting-edge of asthma research.
The Centre aims to tackle five major research areas related to allergy and asthma:
- Airway inflammation and function
- Environment and infection
- Genetics and epigenetics
- IgE structure, function and regulation
Better understanding of the underlying biology of these aspects is crucial in our progress towards better treatments and, ultimately, a cure for asthma. Despite our increasing awareness that asthma is not one condition and that everyone's asthma is different, we still only have treatments that follow a 'one size fits all' approach. Investigating the above different areas will give us a much better understanding of different types and causes of asthma, and so give us the key to developing specific treatments.
And it's not just scientists working to better understand asthma; some of the researchers across the two sites of the Centre are also clinicians, supporting research that involves people with asthma and observations of real people to influence and support research.
The researchers at the Centre have already been behind breakthroughs in our understanding of asthma, including identifying the structure of the molecule behind allergic reactions in asthma, IgE, which has since led to the development of new treatments such as Xolair, as well as other research avenues that have the potential to create new treatments for people with asthma.