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Dr Aran Singanayagam

Aran Singanayagam is an MRC Clinician Scientist, Group Leader at the Centre for Molecular Bacteriology and Infection (CMBI) at Imperial College and  Consultant in Respiratory Medicine at the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS trust.

Aran qualified from the University of Edinburgh medical school in 2005 achieving distinction in his final examinations. He intercalated with a BSc. in Physiology and was awarded First Class Honours. In 2009, he was appointed to the post of NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow in Respiratory Medicine at Imperial College. A Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Training Fellowship enabled him to undertake a PhD. using experimental models to understand how the commonly used inhaled therapy fluticasone propionate can impair immune responses to rhinovirus infection. He identified type I interferon as a central regulator of antibacterial immunity and mucus production during virus-induced exacerbations of COPD. This work led to a first author publication in Nature Communications.

Aran then took up an NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer post to develop a niche studying mechanisms of dysregulated host-defence in chronic lung disease. He built upon his PhD. work by demonstrating that inhaled corticosteroids can perturb the airway microbiota and impair bacterial control through suppression of the anti-microbial peptide cathelicidin, an effect that occurs mechanistically through augmentation of the protease cathepsin D, a negative regulator of cathelicidin. This work has been published in Science Translational Medicine.

Subsequently, Aran was awarded a Wellcome Trust ISSF Springboard Fellowship followed by a prestigious MRC Clinician Scientist Fellowship which enabled him to establish his research group studying the role of the respiratory tract microbiota in innate immunity.

Aran has received prestigious early career investigator awards from the British Thoracic Society (BTS), the European Respiratory Society (ERS) and the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries. He was a member of the BTS Science and Research Committee (2015-2018) and the ERS Long Range Planning Committee for Respiratory Infection (2015-2018). He sits on the Editorial Board of American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine and European Respiratory Journal and has published over 100 papers to date with a H index of 47.

Dr Aran Singanayagam, Lab head
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