Meet APF Conference Grant Awardee Dr Jonathon Shaw

May 2022

Dr Jonathon Shaw presenting his research at ATS 2022

I’ve held an interest in respiratory medicine since medical school and became interested in Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) in my first year as a doctor, having Dr Nazia Chaudhuri (ILD consultant) as my supervisor. Through working in the Respiratory department at Wythenshawe hospital, I was able to develop this interest and was part of a team that published several papers with an ILD focus and was fortunate enough to present some of that work at the winter British Thoracic Society meeting in 2017.

More recently, I have been fortunate to work alongside some fantastic colleagues at The Royal Oldham Hospital with an interest in ILD including Dr Conal Hayton, Dr Georges Ng Man Kwong and Dr Shan Liew. Interstitial Lung Abnormalities (ILA) are becoming a ‘hot topic’ in ILD research and this has been the focus of our work over the last 12 months. ILAs are slight changes in the lungs that can be detected by CT scans. These small changes can indicate that a person may go on to develop ILD, but this is not always the case and the changes may not be clinically important. However, the presence of ILAs can be associated with ILD progression and an increase in all-cause mortality (mortality that may or may not be related to respiratory illness). As such, understanding factors that may help predict progression of ILAs is important because it may aid doctors to understand how to best follow up and manage this patient group. It may also help in the development of new treatments targeted at the pre-clinical stages of ILD (before the disease has progressed and a patient has lots of symptoms to manage).

I would like to sincerely thank Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis and their supporters for their kind support. The funding received is hugely appreciated and greatly aided me in sharing our important research!

We submitted our work to the American Thoracic Society (ATS) conference (a major annual respiratory conference held in the USA) and the work was accepted for presentation. Through the support of Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis, I was able to present the work in San Francisco on the 18th May 2022. The ability to attend and present at ATS was a great experience, not only to be able to present the findings of our work but also to meet and network with other centres across the world working in similar areas. We plan to try and publish this work in the near future and develop future research ideas in the ILA field.

Our group looked at the association of monocytes (a type of white blood cell involved in the immune system) and progression of ILA to ILD and an increase in mortality. A raised monocyte level is known to be associated with worse outcomes in patients diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). In our small study, we found that a raised monocyte count did in fact predict both progression of ILA to ILD and increased mortality. This finding has also been replicated in a couple of other recent studies.

I’ve recently been able to obtain a respiratory training number and will start as ST4 at Blackpool Victoria Hospital in August 2022 which will enable me to continue my career in respiratory medicine.

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