Dr Yassine Amrani


Contact details

Lab:217, MSB / Office: 217c, MSB

Telephone: +44 (0)116 223 1415

Email: ya26@le.ac.uk

Personal details

I am a trained respiratory pharmacologist who graduated “summa com laude” from the University Of Strasbourg, France. I started my academic career at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, one of the top Ivy League Universities in the USA, where I received my first appointment at the Department of Medicine in 2002.

In 2007, I moved to the University of Leicester School of Medicine in the UK where I currently hold a tenured Readership (Associate Professor) in Respiratory Immunology. I am a member of the Institute for Lung Health (Glenfield Hospital).



  • Abu-Rish EY, Amrani Y, Browning M. Toll-like receptor 9 activation induces expression of membrane-bound B-cell activating factor (BAFF) on human B cells and leads to increased profileration in response to both soluble and membrane-bound BAFF. Rheumatology (Oxford) 2013;Feb 21 [epub ahead of print]
  • Hartman WR, Smelter DF, Sathish V, Karass M, Kim S, Aravamudan B, Thompson MA, Amrani Y, Pandya HC, Martin RJ, Prakash YS, Pabelick CM. Oxygen dose responsiveness of human fetal airway smooth muscle cells. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 2012;303:L711-9
  • Bouazza B, Krytska K, Debba-Pavard M, Amrani Y, Honkanen RE, Tran J, Tliba O. Cytokines alter glucocorticoid receptor phosphorylation in airway cells: role of phosphatases. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 2012;47:464-73
  • Dukes F, Kanterakis S, Lee J, Pietrofesa R, Andersen ES, Arguiri E, Tyagi S, Showe L, Amrani Y, Christofidou-Solomidou M. Gene expression profiling of flaxseed in mouse lung tissues-modulation of toxicologically relevant genes. BMC Complement Altern Med 2012;12:47
  • Damera G, Druey KM, Cooper PR, Krymskaya VP, Soberman RJ, Amrani Y, Hoshi T, Brightling CE, Panettieri RA Jr. An RSG4-mediated phenotypic switch of bronchial smooth muscle cells promotes fixed airway obstruction in asthma. PLoS One 2012;7:e28504
  • Brightling CE, Gupta S, Hollins F, Sutcliffe A, Amrani Y. Immunopathogenesis of severe asthma. Curr Pharm Des 2011;17(7):667-73
  • Amrani Y, Syed F, Huang C, Li K, Liu V, Jain D, Keslacy S, Sims MW, Baidouri H, Cooper PR, Zhao H, Siddiqui S, Brightling CE, Griswold D, Li L, Panettieri RA Jr. Expression and activation of the oxytocin receptor in airway smooth muscle cells; Regulation by TNFalpha and IL-13. Respir Res 2010;29(11):104
  • Cruse G, Yang W, Duffy SM, Chachi L, Leyland M, Amrani Y, Bradding P. Counterregulation of beta(2)-adrenoceptor function in human mast cells by stem cell factor. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2010;125(1):257-63
  • Bhandare R, Damera G, Banerjee A, Flammer JR, Keslacy S, Rogatsky I, Panettieri RA, Amrani Y, Tliba O. Glucocorticoid receptor interacting protein-1 restores glucocorticoid responsiveness in steroid-resistant airway structural cells. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 2010;42(1):9-15



My lab currently investigates different aspects of the pathogenesis of lung diseases:

  • Mechanisms involved in airway hyper-responsiveness
  • Steroid resistance in severe asthmatics
  • Molecular regulation of "pro-asthmatic" genes

Throughout my career, I have developed a strong interest in the immunopathogenesis of lung diseases including severe asthma and COPD with a particular emphasis on the role of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF). My main goal is to develop translational “bench-to-bedside” approaches that could be used for the development for more effective therapies in the treatment of these diseases. I was the first in the field to have suggested the novel concept that inflammation, by directly altering the function of airway smooth muscle via the action of pro-asthmatic cytokines such as TNF and IL-13, contributes to the impaired lung function in asthma. This hypothesis was later confirmed in different clinical trials showing that anti-TNF (mab infliximab or fusion protein etanecerpt) or anti-IL-13 (lebrikizumab) therapies lead to improvement of disease condition in severe asthmatics. In more recent years, my interest shifted at understanding the mechanisms explaining the refractoriness of severe asthmatics to current therapies. My group has uncovered different inflammatory conditions present in severe asthma that dramatically reduce the therapeutic efficacy of corticosteroids and Beta2-agonists (work in progress).

I have received a total of $8 million worth of research and programme grants (as PI, co-PI and Co-investigator) from National Institute of Health (USA), American Lung Association and the Parker B. Francis Foundation. I am currently funded by the NIH (US), MRC and Wellcome Trust on grants where I act as PI or co-PI. I have published over 67 peer-reviewed articles/reviews in top medical journals and wrote 7 book chapters in pulmonary medicine. My H-index is 29. I have delivered over 45 lectures in different Universities and acted as session chair at different meetings including American Thoracic Society (ATS) and American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI). I served as a member of committee panels for funding bodies including NIH (USA), FAMRI (USA), and Health Research Board (Ireland) and ad hoc reviewer for the Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council (UK), British Lung Foundation (UK), Netherlands Asthma Foundation (Netherlands), Asthma UK (UK), Canadian Lung Association (Canada) and at least 21 prestigious top medical journals. I am a member of the European Respiratory Society (ERS).

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Contact Details

Department of Respiratory Sciences
Maurice Shock Medical Sciences Building
University Road
Leicester LE1 9HN

Head of Department: Professor Mike Barer

PA: Alison Brown

General enquiries

T:+44 (0)116 252 2951