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Clinical Lecturer in Experimental Respiratory Medicine


Twitter: @Akhilesh_Jha



My research utilises in-vivo human challenge models to understand immune responses to viral infection in healthy participants and those with airway diseases such as asthma. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) act to detect pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and are critical in the first-line of defence against viral infections. I employ airway challenge using TLR agonists to mimic a viral infection combined with cutting-edge genomic techniques (e.g. single-cell RNA sequencing) to understand the molecular aspects of innate immunity. I also utilise in-vitro airway culture techniques (submerged and at air-liquid interface) to interrogate the epigenetic basis of immune response to TLR agonists in order to explore the concept of innate immune “memory” in the respiratory tract. I am funded by The Evelyn Trust and have developed collaborations with Industry supported via Wellcome Trust Developing Concept Funding.


Academic Interests

I am passionate about embedding research into the “frontline” of healthcare and am the founding chair of the newly established Integrated Respiratory Research Collaborative (INSPIRE). This aims to engage respiratory trainees across the country to initiate and execute large scale national studies for the benefit of patients with respiratory disease, with support from National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and British Thoracic Society (BTS).


I am a member of the BTS Science and Research Committee and the Speciality Trainee Advisory Group.

I am an early career editor for Immunotherapy Advances and the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.


Relevant Publications

  1. Guo W, Porter LM, Crozier TW, Coates M, Jha A, McKie M, Nathan JA, Lehner PJ, Greenwood EJ, McCaughan F. Topical TMPRSS2 inhibition prevents SARS-CoV-2 infection in differentiated primary human airway cells. bioRxiv 2021;2021.04.23.440619.doi:10.1101/2021.04.23.440619.
  2. Paterson S, Kar S, Ung SK, Gardener Z, Bergstrom E, Ascough S, Kalyan M, Zyla J, Maertzdorf J, Mollenkopf HJ, Weiner J, Jozwik A, Jarvis H, Jha A, Nicholson BP, Veldman T, Woods CW, Mallia P, Kon OM, Kaufmann SHE, Openshaw PJ, Chiu C. Innate-like gene expression of lung-resident memory CD8+ T-cells during experimental human influenza. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 2021.
  3. Jha A, Thwaites RS, Tunstall T, Kon OM, Shattock RJ, Hansel TT, Openshaw PJM. Increased nasal mucosal interferon and CCL13 response to a TLR7/8 agonist in asthma and allergic rhinitis. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2021;147:694-703.e12.
  4. Jha A, Dunning J, Tunstall T, Thwaites RS, Hoang LT, Kon OM, Zambon MC, Hansel TT, Openshaw PJ. Patterns of systemic and local inflammation in patients with asthma hospitalised with influenza. European Respiratory Journal 2019;1900949.
  5. Progatzky F*, Jha A*, Wane M, Thwaites RS, Makris S, Shattock RJ, Johansson C, Openshaw PJ, Bugeon L, Hansel TT, Dallman MJ. Induction of innate cytokine responses by respiratory mucosal challenge with R848 in zebrafish, mice, and humans. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2019;144:342-345.e7.*Joint first authors
  6. Jha A, Thwaites RS, Singh N, Hansel T. Precision Mucosal Sampling and Biomarkers in Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma. In: Handbook of Biomarkers and Precision Medicine. 1st ed. Chapman and Hall/CRC; 2019.
  7. Lodge KM, Knolle MD, Jha A. Asthma: From Diagnosis to Endotype to Treatment. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 2018;197:1065–7.
  8. Thwaites RS, Jarvis HC, Singh N, Jha A, Pritchard A, Fan H, et al. Absorption of Nasal and Bronchial Fluids: Precision Sampling of the Human Respiratory Mucosa and Laboratory Processing of Samples. JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments). 2018;e56413.
  9. Schwarze J, Openshaw P, Jha A, del Giacco SR, Firinu D, Tsilochristou O, et al. Influenza burden, prevention, and treatment in asthma-A scoping review by the EAACI Influenza in asthma task force. Allergy. 2018;73:1151–81.
  10. Fraser CS, Jha A, Openshaw PJM. Vaccines in the Prevention of Viral Pneumonia. Clinics in Chest Medicine. 2017;38:155–69.
  11. Jha A, Jarvis H, Fraser C, J.M. Openshaw P. Respiratory syncytial virus. In: Hui DS, Rossi GA, Johnston SL, editors. SARS, MERS and other Viral Lung Infections. European Respiratory Society; 2016;p. 84–109.


Full publication list available here.