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Respiratory research fellow celebrated at national awards for patient-centred excellence

News image Joe

A pioneering Research Fellow based at the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Plymouth has won an award for his outstanding contribution to respiratory research and dedication to patient involvement.

Dr Joseph Lanario, who is a key member of the Severe Asthma and Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) teams based at the Royal Devon, received the award at the annual Winter meeting of the British Thoracic Society (BTS), presented in conjunction with the NIHR. This was under the category of “the Early Career Researcher and those new to research from all non-medical professional groups showing a significant contribution to recruitment into NIHR portfolio studies.”

Dr Joseph Lanario, Research Fellow in Respiratory Health at the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said:

"Thank you to the British Thoracic Society (BTS) and the National Institute of Health and Care Research for this award, and to the severe asthma and interstitial lung disease (ILD) teams for their support of the research. This is a great honour for everyone caring for severe asthma and ILD at the Royal Devon."

The award recognises the significant contribution Joseph has made to the experience of patients with severe asthma and ILD, and how his efforts have transformed the way we deliver respiratory research. Since 2016, he has recruited over 600 patients into specialist asthma studies.

Joseph has worked closely with patients and colleagues to increase study recruitment, developing innovative approaches to encourage research participation. For example, to overcome the challenges faced during the global COVID-19 pandemic, Joseph implemented changes that meant that volunteers could take part in studies from the comfort of their homes, which proved to be convenient and accessible for patients.

Dr Matthew Masoli, Respiratory Consultant for the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said:

“Joseph has been an instrumental part of our patient-centred research programme and it is fantastic to see that his hard work, commitment and success are being rewarded.”

Most recently, Joseph spearheaded recruitment for the UK component of a ground-breaking European study spanning 11 countries, examining the impact of severe asthma on health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The team, under his guidance, has collected questionnaire data from over 140 patients through a custom app. Additionally, he co-authored the Severe Asthma Questionnaire (SAQ), a patient-partnered initiative capturing perspectives on disease and treatment.

Joseph has also collaborated with the Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) team, evaluating the use of spirometry at home for interstitial lung disease. This is essentially a basic breathing test that measures the amount of air a person can blow out as fast as they can and is a useful way of monitoring lung conditions, measuring response to treatment, and measuring the progression of lung disease.

Dr Anne-Marie Russell, Clinical Academic - Interstitial Lung Disease, the University of Exeter, said:

“Joseph has strengthened his collaboration with the interstitial lung disease (ILD) mixed methods research team, providing supervision and support to pre-doctoral ILD researcher Jess Mandizha and the wider interdisciplinary research team. He brings a thoughtful and reflective maturity to our collaborative work.”

The work of Joseph and his team is part of a widespread research programme at the Royal Devon and adds to a growing reputation for excellence in clinical research. You can find out more about research, development and innovation at the Royal Devon on the Trust website.

Professor Michael Gibbons, Clinical Director, Exeter - South West Peninsula Interstitial Lung Disease service, said:

“We were absolutely delighted to hear of Joe's award. He has worked tirelessly and is a valued member of the team; it was therefore a delight to see him receiving such worthy recognition.”

Find out more about research, development and innovation at the Royal Devon