The role of small-molecule dietary and non-dietary antioxidants in predicting and preventing respiratory disease


  • Dr Laura Horsfall

    University College London

Project summary

Lung disease is a growing problem across the world. There are currently no preventive drug treatments or blood tests to help doctors identify people who have the highest risk of lung disease. 

I will use data from the UK Biobank for 500,000 British adults to examine whether simple blood tests that assess antioxidant levels can help doctors identify people at the highest risk of developing lung cancer. I will investigate whether people born with higher levels of antioxidants in their blood due to their genes have better lung health compared with those born with lower levels. I will also explore whether additional testing and monitoring of high-risk patients represents value for money for the NHS. 

My research findings could help prevent deaths from lung cancer by detecting the disease at an earlier stage. It also has the potential to lead to new preventive treatments for lung diseases. The results may also help us understand why some smokers develop lung diseases and others do not.