Dr Yassine Amrani

Interim Head of Department and Associate Professor

Contact details

Location: Office 223, Maurice Shock Building

+44 (0)116 258 3695 (Hospital Office)

+44 (0)116 229 7768 (University Office)
+44 (0)116 252 2951 (Secretary: Alison Brown)

Email: ya26@le.ac.uk

Email: ajb64@le.ac.uk (Secretary)

Personal details

I was awarded PhD cum laude in Respiratory Medicine from the University of Strasbourg. 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).

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 44 (google scholar). 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).


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

Key Publications

  • Amrani Y, Panettieri RA, Ramos-Ramirez P, Schaafsma D, Kaczmarek K, Tliba O. Important lessons learned from studies on the pharmacology of glucocorticoids in human airway smooth muscle cells: Too much of a good thing may be a problem. Pharmacol Ther. Sep; 213:107589, 2020
  • Panettieri RA, Schaafsma D, Amrani Y, Koziol-White C, Ostrom R, Tliba O. Non-genomic Effects of Glucocorticoids: An Updated View. Trends Pharmacol Sci. Jan;40(1):38-49, 2019
  • Chachi L, Alzahrani A, Koziol-White C, Biddle M, Bagadood R, Panettieri RA Jr, Bradding P, Amrani Y.
    Increased β2-adrenoceptor phosphorylation in airway smooth muscle in severe asthma: possible role of mast cell-derived growth factors. Clin Exp Immunol. Nov;194(2):253-258, 2018
  • Roach KM, Sutcliffe A, Matthews L, Elliott G, Newby C, Amrani Y, Bradding P. A model of human lung fibrogenesis for the assessment of anti-fibrotic strategies in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Sci Rep. Jan 10;8(1):342, 2018
  • Chachi L, Abbasian M, Gavrila A, Alzahrani A, Tliba O, Bradding P, Wardlaw AJ, Brightling C, Amrani Y.
    Protein phosphatase 5 mediates corticosteroid insensitivity in airway smooth muscle in patients with severe asthma. Allergy. 72(1):126-136, 2017
  • Lewis R, Chachi L, Newby C, Amrani Y*, Bradding P*. Bi-directional counterregulation of human lung mast cells and human airway smooth muscle β2-adrenoceptor responses. J. Immunol. 1;196(1):55-63, 2016 (*shared senior authorship)
  • Bradley S, Wiegman CHC, Maza Iglesias M, Kong KC, Butcher AJ, Russell K, Goupil E, Bourgognon JM, Macedo-Hatch T, Laporte SA, Chung KF, Amrani Y* and Tobin AB*. Mapping physiological G protein-coupled receptor signaling pathways reveals a role for receptor phosphorylation in airway contraction Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2016 Apr 19;113(16):4524-9 (*shared senior authorship)
  • Chachi Y, Gavrila A, Tliba O, and Amrani Y. Abnormal corticosteroid signalling in airway smooth muscle: Mechanisms and perspectives for the treatment of severe asthma. Clin Exp Allergy 45(11):1637-46, 2015
  • Gavrila A, Chachi L, Tliba O, Bradding P, Brightling C, Amrani YEffect of the plant derivative Compound A on the production of corticosteroid-resistant chemokines in airway smooth muscle cells. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol., 53(5):728-37, 2015
  • Stinson SE, Amrani Y*, Brightling C*. D prostanoid receptor 2 (chemoattractant receptor-homologous molecule expressed on TH2 cells) protein expression in asthmatic patients and its effects on bronchial epithelial cells. Stinson SE, Amrani Y, Brightling CE.. J Allergy Clin Immunol.135(2):395-406, 2015 (*shared senior authorship)

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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