Professor David Thickett DM FRCP

David Thickett

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
Professor in Respiratory Medicine

Contact details

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
Centre for translational Inflammation Research
University of Birmingham Laboratories
Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT

David Thickett trained in Oxford and London. He was a specialist registrar in the South West region before doing his DM thesis on ARDS in Bristol. He was initially appointed as a Senior Lecturer in 2001 and then became a Wellcome Intermediate Fellow in 2006. He was appointed as a reader in 2011 and promoted to Chair in Respiratory Medicine in 2014.

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-5456-6080


  • MA (Oxon) DM FRCP


General Professional training

  • 1992 House Officer Surgery, Princess Royal Hospital
  • 1992-1993 House Officer Medicine, Professorial Department of Endocrinology, North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary, Stoke on Trent
  • 1993-1994 Senior House Officer Cardiothoracic Medicine, Harefield Hospital
  • 1994 Senior House Officer Clinical Oncology / Gastroenterology, Mount Vernon, Hospital
  • 1994-1995 Senior House Officer General / Respiratory Medicine, RUH, Bath
  • 1995 Senior House Officer Neurology, Royal United Hospital, Bath

Specialist training

  • 1995-1996 Respiratory Registrar, Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton
  • 1996-1998 Specialist Registrar Respiratory medicine, Southmead Hospital, Bristol
  • 1998-1999 Clinical Research Registrar, Lung Research Group, University of Bristol
  • 1999-2000 Specialist Registrar in Respiratory Medicine, Bristol Royal Infirmary
  • 2000-2001 Specialist Registrar, Gloucester Royal Hospital

Academic / Consultant Posts

  • 2001-2006 Senior Lecturer in Medical Sciences, University of Birmingham and Honorary Consultant Physician, UHB
  • 2006-2011 Wellcome Intermediate Fellowship
  • 2011-2014 Reader in Respiratory Medicine
  • 2014 Professor in Respiratory Medicine


  • Mentor for 9 medical students
  • Regularly supervise BMEDSCI student projects (3rd year)
  • Lead for speciality respiratory medicine 4th year
  • Respiratory self select module in the second year

Postgraduate supervision

  • Previously had 4 MD students and 1 PhD student successfully complete
  • Currently has 1 MD student and 4 PhD students


Dr Thickett’s research interests are predominantly in the areas of primary lung epithelial and macrophage biology, murine models of acute lung injury, epithelial mesenchymal transition and translational clinical trials to prevent and treat acute lung injury and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. He has been and continues to be a co-investigator or principal investigator on a number of clinical trials successfully obtaining an MRC DCS grant for 2 clinical trials of vitamin D therapy to prevent lung injury following oesophagectomy.

Dr Thickett is currently involved in the following studies:

  • Translational science lead, chairman of clinical endpoints committee and steering group member for BALTI- PREVENTION
  • PI of a phase II trial of simvastatin in healthy elderly patients
  • PI of a phase II study of the pharmcogenetics of vitamin D replacement in tuberculosis
  • PI of a phase II open label dosing study of vitamin D following oesophagectomy
  • the PI of a phase II study vitamin D to prevent acute lung injury following oesophagectomy (VINDALOO)
  • PI of a phase II study of simvastatin to modify neutrophil function in older patients with septic pneumonia (SNOOPI)
  • TSC member of TIPAC-2 steering committee – a trial of septrin therapy in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Other activities

  • Associate Editor of Thorax (2011-2015)
  • Less than fulltime training committee representative for Respiratory Medicine West Midlands
  • Respiratory Trainee training committee member 2006-ongoing
  • Birmingham and the Black Country Respiratory research lead
  • Respresent respiratory Medicine for Birmingham upon the national Respiratory speciality group for the CLRN


Recent publications


Roberts, A, Tang, T, Stewart, F, Pallini, C, Wallace, G, Cooper, A, Scott, A, Thickett, D, Lugg, S, Pinkney, T, Taylor, G, Brock, K, Stamataki, Z, Brady, CA, Curnow, J, Gordon, J, Qureshi, O, Barnes, N, Bentley, L, Juvvanapudi, J, Bancroft, H, Hemming, B, Ferris, C, Langman, G, Robinson, A, Chapman, J & Naidu, B 2021, 'Ex vivo modelling of PD-1/PD-L1 immune checkpoint blockade under acute, chronic, and exhaustion-like conditions of T-cell stimulation', Scientific Reports, vol. 11, no. 1, 4030.

Wright, WA, Crowley, LE, Parekh, D, Crawshaw, A, Dosanjh, DP, Nightingale, P & Thickett, DR 2021, 'Real-world retrospective observational study exploring the effectiveness and safety of antifibrotics in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis', BMJ Open Respiratory Research, vol. 8, no. 1, e000782.

Mahida, RY, Chotalia, M, Alderman, J, Patel, C, Hayden, A, Desai, R, Beesley, E, Crowley, LE, Soltan, M, Bangash, M, Parekh, D, Patel, J & Thickett, DR 2020, 'Characterisation and outcomes of ARDS secondary to pneumonia in patients with and without SARS-CoV-2: a single-centre experience', BMJ Open Respiratory Research, vol. 7, no. 1, e000731.

EME-TIPAC team 2020, 'Effect of co-trimoxazole (trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole) vs placebo on death, lung transplant, or hospital admission in patients with moderate and severe idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: the EME-TIPAC randomized clinical trial', JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 324, no. 22, pp. 2282-2291.

Grudzinska, F, Brodlie, M, Scholefield, B, Jackson, T, Scott, A, Thickett, D & Sapey, E 2020, 'Neutrophils in community-acquired pneumonia: parallels in dysfunction at the extremes of age', Thorax, vol. 75, no. 2, pp. 164-171.

ISARIC4C Investigators 2020, 'Outcome of hospitalization for COVID-19 in patients with interstitial lung disease: an international multicenter study', American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, vol. 202, no. 12, pp. 1656-1665.

Lugg, ST, Kerr, A, Kadiri, S, Budacan, A-M, Farley, A, Perski, O, West, R, Brown, J, Thickett, DR & Naidu, B 2020, 'Protocol for a feasibility study of smoking cessation in the surgical pathway before major lung surgery: Project MURRAY', BMJ open.

Zheng, S, Yang, J, Hu, X, Li, M, Wang, Q, Dancer, RCA, Parekh, D, Gao-Smith, F, Thickett, DR & Jin, S 2020, 'Vitamin D attenuates lung injury via stimulating epithelial repair, reducing epithelial cell apoptosis and inhibits TGF-β induced epithelial to mesenchymal transition', Biochemical Pharmacology, vol. 177, 113955.

Faniyi, A, Lugg, S, Faustini, S, Webster, C, Duffy, J, Hewison, M, Shields, A, Nightingale, PG, Richter, A & Thickett, D 2020, 'Vitamin D status and seroconversion for COVID-19 in UK healthcare workers', European Respiratory Journal.

Lugg, ST, Alridge, KA, Howells, PA, Parekh, D, Scott, A, Mahida, RY, Park, D, Tucker, O, Gao, F, Perkins, GD, Thickett, DR & Dancer, RCA 2019, 'Dysregulated alveolar function and complications in smokers following oesophagectomy', ERJ Open Research, vol. 5, no. 1, 00089.


Jasper, AE, Sapey, E, Thickett, D & Scott, A 2020, 'Comment on “E-cigarette use increases susceptibility to bacterial infection by impairment of human neutrophil chemotaxis, phagocytosis, and NET formation”', American Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology, vol. 318, no. 3, pp. C704-C705.


Veenith, T, Fisher, BA, Slade, D, Rowe, A, Sharpe, R, Thickett, DR, Whitehouse, T, Rowland, M, Scriven, J, Parekh, D, Bowden, SJ, Savage, JS, Richards, D, Bion, J, Kearns, P & Gates, S 2021 'CATALYST trial protocol: a multicentre, open-label, phase II, multi-arm trial for an early and accelerated evaluation of the potential treatments for COVID-19 in hospitalised adults' medRxiv, pp. 1-15.

Fisher, BA, Veenith, T, Slade, D, Gaskell, C, Rowland, M, Whitehouse, T, Scriven, J, Parekh, D, Balasubramaniam, MS, Cooke, G, Morley, N, Gabriel, Z, Wise, MP, Porter, J, McShane, H, Ho, L-P, Newsome, PN, Rowe, A, Sharpe, R, Thickett, DR, Bion, J, Gates, S, Richards, D & Kearns, P 2021 'Namilumab or infliximab compared to standard of care in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 (CATALYST): a phase 2 randomised adaptive trial' medRxiv, pp. 1-26.

Review article

Lugg, ST, Scott, A, Parekh, D, Naidu, B & Thickett, DR 2021, 'Cigarette smoke exposure and alveolar macrophages: mechanisms for lung disease', Thorax.

Jasper, A, Sapey, E, Thickett, D & Scott, A 2021, 'Understanding potential mechanisms of harm: the drivers of electronic cigarette-induced changes in alveolar macrophages, neutrophils and lung epithelial cells', American journal of physiology. Lung cellular and molecular physiology.

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