School of Medicine
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Simon Johnson

Professor of Respiratory Medicine; Head of Division of Respiratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences



  • Respiratory Theme Lead Nottingham NIHR Biomedical Research Centre
  • Director National Centre for Lymphangioleiomyomatosis
  • Co-director Rare Cystic Lung Disease Collaborative Network
  • Member of the LAM Foundation scientific board
  • Member of the Tuberous Sclerosis Association specialist advisory panel

Expertise Summary

Clinical Interests

Respiratory medicine; Interstitial lung disease; Lymphangioleiomyomatosis; Rare lung disease.

Airway remodelling in asthma is categorised by airway smooth muscle hypertrophy and hyperplasia, change in the type and amount of the extra cellular matrix and epithelial shedding and mucous gland hyperplasia. Our interest is how airway proteases and myofibroblast / extra cellular matrix interactions effect myofibroblast growth and behaviour. These studies employ primary airway cell culture, co-cultures, protein expression, functional activity assay real time PCR and proteomics.

Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) is a rare lung and lymphatic disease categorised by infiltration of smooth muscle type cells in the lungs and lymphatics leading to progressive respiratory impairment. The disease only effects women and is caused by a defect in one of the two proteins associated with tuberous sclerosis, tuberin and hamartin. Our group has a clinical interest in LAM, runs the UK LAM database and is involved in a number of clinical studies and trials.

Laboratory research projects on LAM include the mechanisms of lung destruction in LAM, prognostic biomarkers and the generation of model systems to study LAM.

Matrix metalloproteinases are proteolytic enzymes secreted by a range of cells and regulated by pro-inflammatory cytokines, growth factors, and extra cellular matrix. We have been studying these in airway myofibroblasts and also specific diseases including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and LAM.

Research Summary

Metalloproteinases in lung remodelling, Molecular pathology and translational studies in lymphangioleiomyomatosis, COPD, asthma and interstitial lung disease.

Research Group

Dr Debbie Clements Research Fellow: Pathogenesis of LAM

Dr Suzanne Miller Senior Research Fellow: Biomarkers in LAM

Dr Roya Babaei-Jadidi Research Fellow: Pathogenesis of LAM

Andrew Kirkman-Thomas Research Officer NIHR BRC

Selected Publications

School of Medicine

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

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