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Personal profile

Research interests

Dr Spina's research involves the pharmacology of respiratory disease and inflammation. Dr Spina is particularly interested in investigating the role that sensory nerves play in mediating irritable airways a condition which makes asthmatic subjects uniquely sensitive to their external environment. Moreover, he has interests in the mechanisms that give rise to cough and is studying the role of inflammation in these physiological situations. His in vivo expertise involves the use of cough and asthma models in rodents and guinea pigs to measure of respiratory lung mechanics, in vivo plethysmography, lung resistance and compliance, airway inflammation, and numerous in vitrotechniques (e.g. organ bath measurements of isometric tension). 

Dr Spina has been supported by various research councils (BBSRC, MRC) and industrial support since 1994.

Links with Industry

Dr Spina is currently collaborating with a number of industrial partners to further understand the role of different drug targets in the inflammatory response. 

Research interests (short)

Respiratory pharmacology, sensory nerves, bronchial hyperresponsiveness, airway inflammation.

Biographical details

Dr Spina obtained his PhD from the University of Western Australia in 1988 and was awarded a C.G Martin Fellowship from the National Health and Research Council of Australia to undertake postdoctoral studies at King’s College London (1988-1991), returning to Australia to continue his fellowship. He returned to the United Kingdom in 1994 as a Lecturer in Respiratory Pharmacology in the School of Medicine, King’s College London, was then promoted to Reader in Pharmacology in 2000 and moved to the School of Biomedicine and Health Science.  He is currently Head of Pharmacology and Therapeutics Research within the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science. Dr Spina is a member of the British Pharmacological Society, American Respiratory Society and the European Respiratory Society.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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