Dr Richard Allen on "Research During Lockdown"

January 2021

Dr Richard Allen is a Mike Bray Research Fellow, and recently led the largest genetic study of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis to date. We caught up with Richard during the second lockdown in November 2020, to see how Covid-19 was affecting him, and his research…

“It’s certainly been different and took a bit of adjustment, but has come to feel normal now. It has helped that I am not the only person working here on pulmonary fibrosis research, which has helped make our dining table feel a bit like being in the office…”

I miss being able to see everyone in the office and that has sometimes made it difficult when working together on a project, but I’m getting used to the Zoom and Teams meetings. Thanks to the nature of the research we do being very computationally intensive, and that we are able to access the university computer systems remotely, we have actually been able to continue our research into pulmonary fibrosis fairly easily.

Being at home may have made it harder to generate new collaborations but as there is now greater interest in lung research there has also been some new opportunities.

There are definite positives though to working from home and the increase in virtual meetings has definitely made it easier to talk to researchers we work with who may be the other side of the world. The other major positive though is the easy access to the toasty maker for my lunch! I’ll definitely miss that when we go back to the office.”

We wish Richard the very best in continuing his research this year.

Learn more about Dr Richard Allen

In 2020, he took part in a thoroughly insightful webinar where he explained his findings so far, and answered questions from patients, carers and family members across our community – which was well-received by all who attended.