Dr Aaron Scott PhD FHEA

Dr Aaron Scott

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
Associate Professor in Respiratory Science
Acute Care Research Deputy Theme Lead

Contact details

Birmingham Acute Care Research Group
Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
University of Birmingham Research Laboratories
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
B15 2WB

Dr Aaron Scott is an Associate Professor in Respiratory Science, within the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing. His research focus in respiratory inflammation covers both the acute (ARDS) and chronic setting (COPD, IPF), and the development of novel therapeutics. Aaron is also very interested in the impact of alternative nicotine delivery devices - electronic cigarettes and heat-not-burn tobacco devices. Dr Scott is also Deputy Theme Lead for the Birmingham Acute Care Research group.

Google Scholar Profile

ResearchGate Profile

Apple Podcasts: The Hope Machine
Is developing asthma in our DNA?

In this episode we meet Dr Katherine Fawcett, who is looking into asthma genetics and what impact DNA can have on the condition. You’ll also meet Dr Aaron Scott whose researching the impact of E-Cigarettes on lung conditions like COPD.
Run time: 19 minutes


  • PG Certificate in Higher Education (2019)
  • PhD, Respiratory immunology, Queens University Belfast (2011)
  • MSc in Biomolecular structure and function, Queens University Belfast (2007)
  • BSc (Hons) Biochemistry, Queens University Belfast (2006)


Dr Aaron Scott studied Biochemistry at Queens University Belfast, where he also completed a Masters in Biomolecular structure and function. Building on his training as a biochemist Aaron then undertook a PhD in Respiratory Immunology, in which he examined the role of immunomodulatory proteins in Cystic Fibrosis.

Following completion of his doctoral studies Aaron moved to the Cancer Sciences department at the University of Birmingham to identify human monoclonal antibodies directed against alloantigens in the sera of sensitised individuals following solid organ transplant. In 2014 he returned to respiratory research, within the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, examining the Mechanistic and functional importance of HSD-1 activity in ARDS.

In December 2017, Dr Scott was made a Lecturer within the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing and has most recently, in August 2022, become an Associate Professor in Respiratory Science as part of the Birmingham Acute Care Research (BACR) group within the Institute. 

Since his appointment in 2017 Dr Scott has further developed his interests in chronic inflammatory lung disease, mainly falling into two core elements:

1. The role of the exposome in driving pathology - alternative nicotine delivery devices, pollution.
2. Characterising the role of aberrant proteinase activity in driving lung disease to allow therapeutic modification.



Biomedical Science (UG)
Fundamentals of Life Science (FLS)
Foundations in Pharmacology (FNP)
Student selected Project (3SP); Module lead

Introduction to Respiratory Medicine

Dr Scott supervises several BMedSci UG and MBCHB intercalation projects each year


Respiratory Medicine MSc
Immunology and Immunotherapy MSc
iDTP - Mini Research Project; Module lead

Postgraduate supervision

Aaron supervises laboratory-based research projects for several MSc/MSci programmes.

Aaron has supervised 1 PhD students to award of degree. He currently supervises 8 doctoral students, comprised of both clinical researchers and discovery scientists.

Aaron is interested in supervising doctoral research students who are interested in research related to:

  • Examining the role of the exposome in driving inflammatory lung disease, in particular the impact of alternative nicotine delivery devices, such as e-cigarettes and pollution.
  • Characterising disease mechanisms (acute and chronic) inflammatory lung disease to identify novel points of intervention for development of novel therapeutics.

If you are interested in studying any of these subject areas please contact Dr Aaron Scott directly.

For any general doctoral research enquiries, please email mds-gradschool@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

For a full list of available Doctoral Research opportunities, please visit our Doctoral Research programme listings.


Research interests
Aaron’s research is focused on chronic inflammatory lung disease (COPD, ILD). Within this space, Aaron has a particular interest in:

1) The role of the exposome in driving pathology - alternative nicotine delivery devices, pollution.
E-cigarette related studies form the core of Aaron’s current work in this area, investigating the impact of e-cigarettes on the innate immune response of the airways, the evidence efficacy for cessation efficacy in at risk patient groups (COPD) and in the chronic setting, the effects of long-term vaping on healthy and at-risk patient lung health

2) Characterising the role of aberrant proteinase activity in driving lung disease to allow therapeutic modification.

3) Driving better understanding of shared disease mechanisms us to develop better drug targets for disease modification.

During the pandemic, Aaron also led on a COVID-19 focussed project examining the role of dysregulated neutrophil activity in driving pathology. This complements ongoing collaborative interests in a variety of other areas, including; Community Acquired Pneumonia and Sepsis, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Tuberculosis and fibrotic lung disease.

Other activities

  • Aaron is a long-standing Associate Editor for BMJ pulmonary Medicine.
  • Aaron continues to contribute to various media platforms to discuss the results of his e-cigarette related research in the context of the wider field and is a contributor to open access scientific discussion forums such as The Conversation.
  • Aaron believes it is important researchers work harder to engage patients and the public at all levels of our research and in sharing the outcomes of research in an easily understandable and useful way.
  • Aaron is also involved in widening participation schemes at various levels to stimulate interest in STEM subjects in higher education, working directly with schools, teachers and pupils provide insight and break down perceived barriers which may hamper engagement. 


Recent publications


Jasper, A, Faniyi, A, Davis, L, Grudzinska, F, Halston, R, Hazeldine, J, Parekh, D, Sapey, E, Thickett, D & Scott, A 2024, 'E-cigarette vapor renders neutrophils dysfunctional due to filamentous actin accumulation', Journal of Investigational Allergology and Clinical Immunology, vol. 153, no. 1, pp. 320-329.e8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2023.08.025

Quarton, S, McGee, K, Cumley, N, Behruznia, M, Jeff, C, Belchamber, K, Cox, M, Thickett, D, Scott, A, Parekh, D, McNally, A & Sapey, E 2024, 'Towards personalised anti-microbial and immune approaches to infections in acute care. Can real-time genomic-informed diagnosis of pathogens, and immune-focused therapies improve outcomes for patients? An observational, experimental study protocol', PLoS ONE, vol. 19, no. 3, e0298425. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0298425

Mahida, RY, Lax, S, Bassford, CR, Scott, A, Parekh, D, Hardy, RS, Naidu, B, Matthay, MA, Stewart, PM, Cooper, MC, Perkins, GD & Thickett, DR 2023, 'Impaired alveolar macrophage 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 reductase activity contributes to increased pulmonary inflammation and mortality in sepsis-related ARDS', Frontiers in immunology, vol. 14, 1159831. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2023.1159831

Grudzinska, FS, Faniyi, AA, Scott, A, Sapey, E & Thickett, DR 2023, 'Observational cohort study protocol: neutrophil function and energetics in adults with pneumonia and sepsis: Pneumonia Metabolism in Ageing (PUMA)', BMJ Open Respiratory Research, vol. 10, no. 1, e001806. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjresp-2023-001806

Thein, OS, Ali, NA, Mahida, RY, Dancer, RCA, Ostermann, M, Amrein, K, Martucci, G, Scott, A, Thickett, DR & Parekh, D 2023, 'Raised FGF23 Correlates to Increased Mortality in Critical Illness, Independent of Vitamin D', Biology, vol. 12, no. 2, 309. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020309

Grudzinska, F, Jasper, A, Sapey, E, Thickett, D, Mauro, C, Scott, A & Barlow, J 2023, 'Real-time assessment of neutrophil metabolism and oxidative burst using extracellular flux analysis', Frontiers in immunology, vol. 14, 1083072. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2023.1083072

Mahida, RY, Price, J, Lugg, ST, Li, H, Parekh, D, Scott, A, Harrison, P, Matthay, MA & Thickett, DR 2022, 'CD14-positive extracellular vesicles in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid as a new biomarker of acute respiratory distress syndrome', American journal of physiology. Lung cellular and molecular physiology, vol. 322, no. 4, pp. L617-L624. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajplung.00052.2022

Mckelvey, MC, Abladey, AA, Small, DM, Doherty, DF, Williams, R, Scott, A, Spek, CA, Borensztajn, KS, Holsinger, L, Booth, R, O’kane, CM, Mcauley, DF, Taggart, CC & Weldon, S 2022, 'Cathepsin S contributes to lung inflammation in acute respiratory distress syndrome', American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, vol. 205, no. 7, pp. 769-782. https://doi.org/10.1164/rccm.202107-1631oc

Belchamber, KBR, Thein, OS, Hazeldine, J, Grudzinska, FS, Faniyi, A, Hughes, M, Jasper, A, Yip, KP, Crowley, LE, Lugg, ST, Sapey, E, Parekh, D, Thickett, DR & Scott, A 2022, 'Dysregulated neutrophil phenotype and function in hospitalised non-ICU COVID-19 pneumonia', Cells, vol. 11, no. 18, 2901. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells11182901

Li, H, Li, X, Hao, Y, Wu, C, Fu, Y, Su, N, Chen, H, Ying, B, Wang, H, Su, L, Cai, H, He, Q, Cai, M, Sun, J, Lin, J, Scott, A, Smith, F, Huang, X & Jin, S 2022, 'Maresin 1 intervention reverses experimental pulmonary arterial hypertension in mice', British Journal of Pharmacology, vol. 179, no. 22, pp. 5132-5147. https://doi.org/10.1111/bph.15906

Lugg, ST, Mackay, WR, Faniyi, AA, Faustini, SE, Webster, C, Duffy, JE, Hewison, M, Shields, AM, Parekh, D, Richter, AG, Scott, A & Thickett, DR 2022, 'Vitamin D status: a U-shaped relationship for SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity in UK healthcare workers', BMJ Open Respiratory Research, vol. 9, no. 1, e001258. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjresp-2022-001258

Nicholson, T, Davis, L, Davis, ET, Ede, MN, Scott, A & Jones, SW 2022, 'e-Cigarette vapour condensate reduces viability and impairs function of human osteoblasts, in part, via a nicotine dependent mechanism', Toxics, vol. 10, no. 9, 506. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10090506


Scott, A 2023, 'Vaping and CBD: can new technology overcome old problems?', Thorax, vol. 78, no. 9, pp. 845-847. https://doi.org/10.1136/thorax-2023-220137

Scott, A, Weldon, S & Taggart, C 2022, 'The serpin-tine search for factors associated with COVID-19 severity in patients with COPD', American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, vol. 206, no. 6, pp. 657-658. https://doi.org/10.1164/rccm.202205-0956ed

Review article

Davis, LC, Sapey, E, Thickett, DR & Scott, A 2022, 'Predicting the pulmonary effects of long-term e-cigarette use: are the clouds clearing?', European Respiratory Review, vol. 31, no. 163, 210121. https://doi.org/10.1183/16000617.0121-2021

View all publications in research portal


Inflammatory Respiratory disease. Smoking and vaping related lung disease