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Dr Claire Smith
UCL GOS Insitute of Child Health
30 Guilford Street
  • Non-Clinical Lecturer in Respiratory Paediatrics
  • ICH Infect, Imm, Infla. & Physio Med
  • UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

Dr Claire Smith obtained her PhD at the University of Leicester working to develop new vaccine strategies against Streptococcus pneumoniae with Prof Peter Andrew. After a career break to explore the southern hemisphere she was appointed as a Research Associate in Leicester to study the interaction of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and Streptococcus pneumoniae during infection of airway epithelial cells.

In January 2012 she moved to UCL GOS Institute of Child Health to study co-infection and the ciliated respiratory epithelium in health and disease. To facilitate this research she setup and manages a respiratory tissue bank alongside Prof Chris O'Callaghan to provide access to human respiratory material that facilitates research across the Institute and externally. Her work on RSV and pneumococcal co-infection led to her appointment as Lecturer with Prof Rosalind Smyth’s group in 2015.

Her current research explores the clinical and immunological role of the neutrophil during RSV and pneumococcal co-infection of ciliated airway epithelial cultures.

Research Themes
Research Summary

Dr Claire Smith’s research aims to improve our understanding of, and develop new treatment strategies for respiratory virus infections. The WHO estimates that RSV causes 64 million infections and 160,000 deaths annually, with a surge in cases each winter correlating with increased emergency admissions. There is currently no treatment available.

Her current research explores how RSV targets the airway, whether immune cells (neutrophils) contribute to damage caused to the airway’s first line of defence, the ciliated epithelial cells, and how this is exacerbated in bacterial co-infection.

For more info visit our group page http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ich/research/infection-immunity-inflammation/respiratory-critical-care-anaesthesia/respiratory-infection-epithelial-biology-research-group

Teaching Summary
Claire’s appointment as Lecturer saw her take up the role of co-director of the new Masters in Research (Child Health). She is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and has experience in the design and delivery of lectures to the MSc students at Leicester and UCL.

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