Dr Lucy Smyth

Lecturer in Human Physiology

  • Peel Building Room G44
  • T: +44 (0)161 295 5723
  • E: l.smyth@salford.ac.uk
  • SEEK: Research profile


I graduated from the University of Salford in 1994 in Biological and Biochemical science. Following a masters in Immunology & Immunogenetics (University of Manchester), I completed my PhD at the University of Sheffield to study the role of mast cells in allergic disease in the absence of IgE.  This study was the initiation of my published career in lung immunology. Post doctoral work in Sunderland and Newcastle focused on ‘tissue restricted lymphocyte’ action during lung transplant rejection.  Research was directed to identify and blockade adhesion proteins that facilitated recognition and destruction events during rejection.

I then spent 2 years at the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research undertaking studies of T cell responses to HPV in cervical cancer patients and identifying the role of the oncofetal antigen 5T4.  Returning to lung immunology, I worked in the University Hospital of South Manchester (UHSM) North West Lung Centre (NWLC) Labs and the Medicines Evaluation Unit (MEU) for 7 years undertaking lab management roles, clinical studies, clinical trials, and collaborative work with industry.  Work characterized the pathobiology of respiratory diseases; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma, while pharmacological studies characterized the action of novel therapeutic drugs.

From 2010, I accepted a lecturing position (Biomedical Science and Human Physiology) at the University of Salford in the School of Environment & Life Sciences (ELS) where I continue to publish on respiratory disease and enjoy bringing clinical aspects to both teaching and research.  My aim is to share my passion with students so they too can better understand pathological processes in disease, and become the next generation of scientists developing improved treatments for patients. 


I am a lecturer in Biomedical Science & Human Physiology in the School of Environment & Life Sciences. 

My research of lung fibrosis underpins and informs ELS teaching that is showcased through delivery of modules in the biosciences area, most notably, delivery of upto nine 40 credit lab research projects per year.  Taught modules that research is integrated into include ‘advances in pathophysiology’, ‘immunology’, ‘human physiology’, ‘pathophysiology’, ‘biomedical research skills’ and ‘applied biotechnology’. 

I am also the Bioscience (lab based) ‘Placement Tutor’ for ELS. Bioscience placements are a key feature in ELS programmes providing students 9-12 months laboratory research experience in a professional environment to subsequently graduate with ‘BSc Hons with Professional Studies’.  Statistics show good employment figures for placement students, many of whom go onto PhDs.  Ongoing collaborations via this research with the University Hospital of South Manchester (UHSM) provides upto 10 placement student opportunities/year.  Links with Manchester Royal infirmary, UHSM, Wigan Hospital and Oldham Royal Hospital enable biomedical science students to undertake their registration portfolio while on placement.  This can provide students fantastic employment opportunities as a Biomedical scientist in the NHS after graduation. 

I am also Programmes Admissions Tutor for the Biomedical Sciences in ELS.

Research Interests

Fibrosis Inflammation & Repair (FIR) / Respiratory Diseases.

Lung disease is extremely prevalent in the UK, affecting >8 million people and their clinical care comes at great cost to the NHS.  Asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) are the two most common conditions each requiring research to further understand the lung pathology and to advance future treatments. 

To do this we have good links with clinical research groups located in local NHS hospitals which enables us to undertake 'translational science' investigations on clinical samples.

Two key areas of interest:

1.  Lung fibrosis and 'cellular remodelling' events

2.  Altered adaptive immunity associated with lung inflammation

1.  Lung fibrosis is commonly associated with COPD but can also occur without a cause (idiopathic).  Lung epithelia cells normally have the potential to regenerate in response to damage and fibroblasts provide an extracellular scaffold for elasticity.  In fibrotic disease this regeneration becomes defective and accelerated causing the airway thickening. This condition has a very poor prognosis; on average patients survive only 2-3 years from diagnosis.  Research at Salford investigates cellular ‘remodelling’ events in lung fibrosis and evaluates fibrosis reversal strategies.  

2.  During lung infections airways are characteristically infiltrated by large numbers of T lymphocytes that partly provide our protective immune responses. T lymphocytes have the ability to recognise and aid clearance of previously encountered infections, however, inflammation during the absence of infection (ie in Asthma and COPD) indicates altered adaptive immunity is contributing to the disease pathology.

A family of CD4 T-helper lymphocytes (regulatory T cells or Tregs) can suppress activated lymphocytes.  Tregs are present at inflammatory loci in a number of conditions including COPD, and Asthma but it is not known why the inflammation is ongoing in their presence.

Research at Salford aims to enhance understanding of the role of Tregs in lung disease.

Qualifications and Memberships

  • PhD: Mast Cell Activation events in the absence of IgE sensitization in allergic disease. (University of Sheffield)
  • MSc: Immunology & Immunogenetics (University of Manchester)
  • BSc:  Biological & Biochemical Science
  • FHEA: Fellow of the Higher Education Academy FHEA
  • ILM: Institute of Leadership & Management L5
  • British Thoracic Society
  • British Society for Immunology
  • British Association for Lung Research
  • European Respiratory Society


Kaur, M & Smyth, D L & Cadden, P & Grundy, S & Ray, D & Plumb, J & Singh, D 2012, 'T lymphocyte insensitivity to corticosteroids in COPD', Respiratory Research, 13(20), pp.1-9.

Eustace, A & Smyth, D L & Mitchell, L & Williamson, K & Plumb, J & Singh, D 2010, 'Identification of Interleukin-17 Producing Cells in the Lungs of COPD Patients.', Chest, 139, pp.1089 -1100.

Smyth, L & Eustace, A & Kolsum, U & Blaikely, J & Singh, D 2010, 'Increased airway T regulatory cells in asthmatic subjects', Chest.

Singh, D & Smyth, L & Borrill, Z & Sweeney, L & Tal-Singer, R 2010, 'A Randomised, Placebo Controlled Study Of The Effects Of The p38 MAPK Inhibitor SB-681323 On Blood Biomarkers Of Inflammation In COPD Patients', J Clin Pharmacol, 50, pp.94-100.

Plumb, J & Smyth, L & Singh, D 2010, 'Role of regulatory T-cells in COPD', Annals of Res Med, 1, pp.45-52.

Smyth, L & Eustace, A & Kolsum, U & Blaikely, J & Singh, D 2010, 'Response To Comment On Chest-10-1440: Increased Airway T Regulatory Cells In Asthmatic Subjects', Chest, 138, p.1283.

Kent, L & Smyth, L & Plumb, J & Clayton, C & Fox, S & Ray, D & Farrow, S & Singh, D 2009, 'Inhibition of lipopolysaccharide-stimulated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease macrophage inflammatory gene expression by dexamethasone and the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitor N-cyano-N'-(2-{[8-(2,6-difluorophenyl)-4-(4-fluoro-2-methylphenyl)-7-oxo-7,8-dihydropyrido[2,3-d] pyrimidin-2-yl]amino}ethyl)guanidine (SB706504).', Pharmacol Exp Ther, 328(2), pp.458-468.

Plumb, J & Smyth, D L & Adams, H & Vestbo, J & Bentley, A & Singh, D 2009, 'Increased T-regulatory cells within lymphocyte follicles in moderate COPD.', Eur Respir J., 34(1), pp.89-94.

Smyth, L & Starkey, C & Gordon, F & Vestbo, J & Singh, D 2008, 'CD8 chemokine receptors in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease', Clin Exp Immunol.

Kent, L & Smyth, L & Farrow, S & Singh, D 2008, 'Cigarette Smoke Extract induced cytokine and chemokine gene expression changes in COPD patients.', Cytokine, 42(2), pp.205-216.

Smyth, L & Kirby, J & Cunningham, A 2007, 'Role of the mucosal integrin alpha-E(CD103)beta7 in tissue restricted Cytotoxicity.', Clinical and Experimental Immunology, 149(1), pp.162-170.

Smyth, L & Starkey, C & Vestbo, J & Singh, D 2007, 'CD4 regulatory cells in COPD patients.', Chest, 132(1), pp.156-163.

Smyth, L & Elkord, E & Taher, T & Jiang, H & Burt, D & Clayton, A & Veelen, P V & Ru, A D & Ossendorp, F & Melief, C & Drijhout, J & Dermime, S & Hawkins, R & Stern, P 2006, 'CD8 T cell recognition of human 5T4 oncofoetal antigen', Int J cancer, 119, pp.1638-1647.

Smyth, L & Poelgeest, M V & Davidson, E & Kwappenburg, K & Burt, D & Sehr, P & Pawlita, M & Man, S & Hickling, J & Fiander, A & Tristram, A & Kitchener, H & Offringa, R & Stern, P & Burg, S V D 2004, 'Immunological responses in women with human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16)-associated anogenital intraepithelial neoplasia induced by heterologous prime-boost HPV-16 oncogene vaccination.', Clin Cancer Res, 10(9), pp.2954-2961.

Davidson, E & Faulkner, R & Sehr, P & Pawlita, M & Smyth, L & Burt, D & Tomlinson, A & Hickling, J & Kitchener, H & Stern, P 2004, 'Effect of TA-CIN (HPV 16 L2E6E7) booster immunisation in vulval intraepithelial neoplasia patients previously vaccinated with TA-HPV (vaccinia virus encoding HPV 16/18 E6E7).', Vaccine, 22, pp.2722-2729.

Smyth, L & Machado, D & Upton, A & Good, S & Aufderheide, M & Helm, B 2000, 'Assessment of the molecular basis of the pro-allergenic effects of cigarette smoke.', Journal Environmental Sci. & technol, 34(7), pp.1370-1374.

Helm, B & Sayers, I & Swann, J & Smyth, L & Cain, S & Suter, M & Machado, D & Spivey, A & Padlan, E 1998, 'Protein and cell engineering of components of the human receptor/effector system: applications for therapy and diagnosis', Technology and Health Care, 6, pp.195-207.

Smyth, L & Snowden, N & Carthey, D & Papasteriades, C & Hajeer, A & Ollier, W 1997, 'FcRIIa polymorphism in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.', Annals of Rhuematic Diseases.