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Dr Claire Smith
4th Floor WTB
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

I completed my PhD in Microbial Pathogenesis at the University of Leicester in 2005 to develop new vaccine strategies against Streptococcus pneumoniae. After a career break to travel the world I was appointed Research Associate at Leicester in 2007 to study the interaction of respiratory syncytial virus and Streptococcus pneumoniae. In January 2012 I moved to ICH/UCL where my work has focused on phenotypic studies of the respiratory epithelium in health and disease. To facilitate this research I have established a the Living Airway Biobank, which collects and grows living human airway material for academic and commercial collaborators. 

Research Themes
Research Summary

My two main areas of interest are host-pathogen interactions and developing novel approaches to the treatment of viral infections. My focus is on pathogens of the respiratory tract, particularly respiratory syncytial virus, influenza virus, and Streptococcus pneumoniae

I have developed specialized methods to explore how viral and bacterial pathogens interact with the human respiratory epithelium in real time.  I am an expert in growing primary ciliated airway epithelial cells using air-liquid interface cultures and performed the functional measurement of ciliary beat frequency and pattern using high speed video microscopy. 

I also have an interest in programming and have developed an ImageJ plugin to calculate ciliary beat frequency from videos of motile cilia.

Teaching Summary

I am a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and and have experience in the design and delivery of lectures to the MSc students at Leicester and UCLI embrace technological aides like the visual learning environment (VLE) as a means of enhancing student engagement. 

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