Professor Jonathan Grigg is one of the UK’s top paediatricians and an international leader in paediatric respiratory research. Since 2003, he has obtained over £11M in research grants as PI and co-applicant from MRC, NIHR, DH and charities. These funds supported air pollution and asthma research with national and international impact. He is the lead paediatrician for government advice on air pollution and children’s health as a member of the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollution, and provides ad hoc advice on respiratory toxicity to the Committee on Carcinogens. He co-chairs the Royal College of Physicians Committee into “air pollution throughout the life course”. In leading the national paediatric research agenda, he organises all paediatric input into British Thoracic Society’s meetings, and as elected secretary to the Royal College Paediatrics and Child Health’s Academic Board, organises its Annual Meeting. He develops national research priorities in paediatric respiratory medicine as Chair of the British Paediatric Respiratory Society, ex chair and, now member, of the Clinical Study Group (Respiratory) for the Medicines for Children network, NIHR Programme Grant Experts Panel. He leads on paediatric respiratory infection and immunology as elected chair of this group in the European Respiratory Society. Nationally, he evaluates the cost effectiveness of therapies, as the paediatric lead of NICE Appraisal Panel A, and is an RCPCH-appointed expert adviser on asthma therapies to other appraisal panels. Locally, he leads on paediatric non-medicines research in NE London as regional LCRN representative to the national committee, and supports academic training as the RCPCH regional academic advisor.
Professor Lakhanpaul (pictured above third from left) is one of three international collaborations based at UCL to receive Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) awards, in recognition of research partnerships improving health in low and middle income countries.
Professor Lakhanpaul is Deputy Lead for our Child Health research theme, and leads our NEON study – a participatory female health volunteer led intervention to promote healthy nutrition in children of Bangladeshi origin in East London.
The Professor specialises in integrated community child health and is an international expert in the creation and implementation of guidelines in healthcare, with a track-record of co-production with communities to develop tailored health interventions. She combines this with work as practising consultant community paediatrician at Whittington Health.
The innovative partnerships arising from the GCRF awards will focus on optimising infant feeding practices in rural India, using technology to support HIV prevention in South Africa, and shaping future policies for the control of non-communicable diseases around the world.
Professor Lakhanpaul will work with Professor Marie Lall (UCL Institute of Education and Pro-Vice-Provost South Asia) and Dr Priti Parikh (UCL Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering) to develop an integrated health, education and environmental intervention to optimise infant feeding practices through schools and Anganwadi networks in India.
Professor Lakhanpaul said: “We are delighted to be receiving the award to support our research, which builds on the work I have been leading in the UK with the CLAHRC in Tower Hamlets.”
In August 2014 I finished a PhD with Imperial College, MRC-PHE centre for environment and health, focusing on the effects of personal air pollution. Apart from a background in science, I always had an interest in communicating scientific knowledge. During my PhD I therefore volunteered within science and museum communications for the Medical Research Council, London Science Museum, Medway Science Centre and Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood. I joined the NIHR CLAHRC funded School-based Asthma Project (SAP) in September 2014, for which I am responsible for Outreach and Learning. My role includes recruitment and liaison with currently 50 different partner organisations, of which 24 are schools, others are research organisations, health organisations, and a variety of private companies. In the first year of the project I organised questionnaire sessions in our partner schools with altogether 799 asthmatic secondary school students. A current focus of my work is the content development and testing of workshops and their educational elements, planned as part of a school-based asthma self-management intervention. One element of the planned workshops is an asthma game for which the final development and wider dissemination (both for a board game and a computer game version) are planned for 2016.
Our school asthma project is working with parents teachers and pupils from schools across to improve the ways in which schools can support young people with asthma.
The CLAHRC is working with young people to develop a suite of resources to encourage open discussion of the condition and improve understanding among peers.
This includes a school-based self-management intervention consisting of educational board and computer game which improves knowledge of triggers and inhalers, as well as encouraging discussion of asthma between pupils .
Our asthma board game (below) has gone down well with young people
As well as we have taken the game on tour at various events and open days where it has proved a hit –