UCL School of Pharmacy


Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research established

24 April 2014

Professor Rob Horne was a co-applicant on a successful £2 million bid to establish the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research (AUK CAR). The BMTO research cluster was one of 13 leading academic research organisations from across the UK comprising a successful bid for £2 million to establish the AUK CAR.

Asthma Inhaler

The centre aims to fundamentally change the way that applied asthma research is conducted in the UK, achieving this by:

  • Working in close partnership with Asthma UK to establish a vibrant, patient-centred, multi-site, multi-disciplinary, internationally renowned collaborative centre of excellence;
  • Harnessing the collective expertise of the best asthma researchers from across the four countries of the UK and through so doing moving beyond the hitherto competitive ethos to an environment in which collaboration between research groups is actively supported;
  • Pursuing strategic, co-ordinated programmes of applied research to bring new focus to delivering Asthma UK’s goals of reducing exacerbations, maximising the benefits of treatment, and empowering people to take control of their asthma;
  • Developing the capacity, mechanisms and infrastructure needed to rigorously test promising interventions through undertaking large cluster and parallel group trials, evaluate health-policy initiatives through quasi-experimental studies, and then support and evaluate the implementation of interventions of proven effectiveness/cost-effectiveness into routine care to substantially reduce asthma exacerbations, hospitalisations and deaths.

Prof Horne is co-leading one of the Centre's three core research programmes: Managing symptoms and maximizing the benefits of treatment. The theme will address the question: How do we help people with asthma to treat and manage their symptoms, and maximise the benefits they get from treatment? The development of novel strategies to improve adherence to asthma medication is one of the key priorities for this theme. Improving adherence with known effective treatments remains one of the most important means to improve asthma outcomes and there is a need to develop novel behavioural approaches to support adherence. Despite the high costs of nonadherence to individuals and society, effective interventions remain elusive. Working with Theme’s co-lead Professor Andy Bush (Imperial College London), Prof Horne will apply MRC guidance to develop novel patient-centred interventions to help patients’ get the best from essential asthma treatment by supporting informed choice and optimal adherence.

Further information: Applied Research Centre

Contact: Prof Rob Horne