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Health & Social Care Research Across North East & North Cumbria.

Respiratory Disorders

Meet the Team

More than 15% of the UK’s population have a diagnosed respiratory condition, such as asthma or COPD, and a large proportion of the CRN portfolio focuses on the management and treatment of these conditions. There are also expert researchers in the following conditions; cystic fibrosis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), bronchiectasis, pulmonary hypertension and sarcoidosis.

However, research can cover the full spectrum of disorders which can impact the respiratory tract, whether this is lung cancer, sleep disorders or the development of medication or devices to manage chronic conditions, COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of research into respiratory disorders.

Gillian Johnson

Research delivery manager

CRN North East and North Cumbria

Dr John Steer

Respiratory disorders specialty group lead

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Gillian Johnson's research experience

I have experience in leading and supporting both commercial and non commercial research opportunities across a number of medical specialities, including ageing, dermatology, gastroenterology, infection, liver, neurological and respiratory disorders working collaboratively with our local NHS trusts, universities and stakeholders to increase recruitment to National Institute for Health and Care Research portfolio studies through novel ways of working.

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Dr John Steer's research experience

I am a respiratory consultant, working in the Northumbria Healthcare Trust. I took time out of specialty training in 2008 to complete a PhD and have been closely involved in clinical research since.

A successful programme of research has stemmed from my initial PhD study which I have been closely involved in. I am currently a chief investigator on an investigator initiated trial (IIT) and principle investigator (PI) on several commercial and non-commercial NIHR CRN portfolio trials, in my research interests of COPD, multimorbidity and bronchiectasis.

My tips for getting involved in research are: Find out who is research active in your specialty area – ask your local research and development department or contact me as the specialty group lead for the CRN. It will be great to hear from you! Contact the trainee respiratory networks. They are a great source of information on how to get involved in research and are developing their own research projects to deliver collaboratively. TERRANE is the trainee network in North East and North Cumbria (email or Twitter). INSPIRE is the national respiratory trainee network. Think ahead. It takes time to set up and start research projects. If you are interested, start talking to people or contact us so that key opportunities aren’t missed.

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How to get involved


Visit the national specialty page here

Sign up

Join the British Thoracic Society, which aims to improve the lives of those living with respiratory diseases and provides support and development opportunities to staff who provide care for them. Its members include doctors, nurses, respiratory physiotherapists, scientists and other professionals with a respiratory interest.


Register for INSPIRE, the Integrated Respiratory Research Collaborative, a UK based research network for early career doctors, nurses and allied health professionals with an interest in respiratory medicine.

Funding opportunities

Keep an eye on any funding opportunities that may come up in your specialist therapy area.

Read publications

If you have a research idea, take a look at the NIHR journals library, where you can view previous projects, and identify where the evidence base is requiring further work and research.