Principal Investigator: Professor Chris Brightling
The East Midlands Breathomics Pathology Node (EMBER) is funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and hosted by the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre.
What is “breathomics”?
The air we breathe out contains a cocktail of volatile organic compounds that give a snapshot of the biological processes taking place in the lung and beyond. In Leicester we will help develop breath analysis tests that use the same technology as that used to detect explosives in war zones. EMBER will deliver near-patient and remote sensing technologies to analyse breath and will create opportunities to develop new methods to analyse complex “omics” data. It’s hoped these could give an instant diagnosis and help doctors pick the best treatments for a range of conditions, including cancers, respiratory infections and diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Staff at Leicester CRF recruits patients into the EMBER study who have a heart or lung condition, or who have been admitted to hospital with acute shortness of breath, or a ‘flare-up’ (exacerbation) of their symptoms. It aims to identify breath biomarkers (substances in or made by the body) for asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease and pneumonia, to understand more about:
- Risk of readmission and/or death
- Responses to treatment given as part of the patient’s normal care
- The underlying disease and how it works (its ‘mechanisms’)
For more information about EMBER please visit the EMBER website at https://ember.le.ac.uk/