Dr Simon Hart

BSc(Hons) MBChB(Hons) PhD FRCPE

Reader in Respiratory Medicine

Role at Hull York Medical School

Simon is Reader in Respiratory Medicine at Hull York Medical School/ University of Hull and Consultant Physician at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.


Graduated from Edinburgh University and trained in respiratory and general medicine in south-east Scotland. PhD in neutrophil and macrophage biology in the MRC Centre for Inflammation Research, followed by an MRC Clinician Scientist fellowship.

Lead clinician for the Hull interstitial lung disease and Sarcoidosis services. Participates in the acute general medicine rota at Hull Royal Infirmary.

Research interests include the biology of pulmonary fibrosis, interstitial lung diseases, and sarcoidosis.


Pulmonary fibrosis

Pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive incurable scarring disease of the lungs that affects about 30,000 people in the UK. Development of effective therapies will depend on understanding the biology of lung scarring.

Platelet biology and lung fibrosis

We have shown that platelets are hyper-active in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Platelets contain granules rich in growth factors, with the potential to drive fibrosis when platelets are retained and activated in the lungs. We are studying how platelets contribute to pulmonary fibrosis.

Steroids and pulmonary fibrosis

The PANTHER-IPF clinical trial showed for the first time that steroid-containing treatment regimens unfortunately led to worse outcomes for people with IPF. We wish to harness this unique observation to better understand the roles of corticosteroids in the biology of pulmonary fibrosis.

Molecular imaging of the lungs

We are developing novel imaging techniques in pulmonary fibrosis, both in the lab (in collaboration with Hull University PET imaging centre) and in the clinic.

Symptoms and quality of life

We have an ongoing research program into assessing and treating difficult symptoms in pulmonary fibrosis in conjunction with colleagues in palliative medicine at Hull York Medical School.


About 4,500 people in the UK are diagnosed each year with sarcoidosis, a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the lungs, lymph nodes, eyes, and skin, and sometimes the bones, heart and nervous system. Disabling symptoms such as breathlessness and fatigue lead to impaired quality of life, and loss of work and income, and some patients suffer considerable morbidity and premature death. Pathologically, affected tissues are infiltrated by granulomas composed of macrophages and other immune cells. Current treatments such as steroids temporarily suppress the inflammatory response, but side effects can be personally distressing, disfiguring, and dangerous. Thus, it is important to understand the cellular and molecular drivers of persistent and progressive disease so that patients with sarcoidosis have treatment options that improve or control their disease without causing undesirable side effects.

The monocyte/macrophage in sarcoidosis

Recent evidence has highlighted key roles for tissue macrophages and their precursors, blood monocytes, in driving sarcoidosis pathology. We are studying immune responses in the blood and lung tissue of patients with sarcoidosis to help understand how the disease is initiated and perpetuated. We are particularly interested in how abnormal function of regulatory (inhibitory) receptors on blood monocytes leads to an overactive immune response in sarcoidosis.

Thanks to our funders:

  • SarcoidosisUK
  • British Lung Foundation
  • Sir Jules Thorn Charitable Trust
  • Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research
  • Boehringer Ingelheim
  • Chiesi
  • Deputy Academic Program Training Director, North & East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire
  • Year 3 clinical tutor, respiratory medicine
  • Year 2 respiratory resource session lead
  • Years 1 and 2 lecturer
  • SSIP supervisor and abstract reviewer
  • Hull York Medical School taster sessions for school leavers
  • Host international elective students at Hull York Medical School
  • Host work experience students considering applying for Medicine
  • Former co-lead for academic foundation program at Hull York Medical School
  • Former chair, Hull York Medical School Academic Progress Committee
  • Immunology of sarcoidoisis (Prof P Kaye, York; Prof M Coles, Oxford)
  • Computational modelling of inflammation (Prof J Timmis, Dr P Andrews, Dr Ed Clark, York)
  • Palliation of chronic breathlessness (Prof M Johnson, Hull York Medical School)
  • PET imaging with novel tracers (Prof S Archibald, Hull)
  • Novel lung imaging in patients with ILD (Prof J Wild, Sheffield)
Postgraduate research supervision
  • 2016-2019 Ms Emma Welch, PhD (Hull York Medical School). Sir Jules Thorn Research Trust. Mechanisms and consequences of platelet activation in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Lead supervisor
  • 2016-2019 Ms Francesca Longhorne, PhD (Hull York Medical School). University of Hull/HYMS research studentship. Immunological mechanisms in pulmonary fibrosis. Lead supervisor
  • 2013-2016 Mr James Thompson, PhD (Hull York Medical School). University of Hull/Hull York Medical School research studentship. Development of novel PET imaging tracers in pulmonary fibrosis. Lead supervisor
  • 2012-2015 Mr Simon Fraser, PhD (Hull York Medical School/University of Hull), awarded 2017. University of Hull/HYMS research studentship. Immunological studies in sarcoidosis. Lead supervisor
  • 2012-2015 Mr James Williamson, PhD (Hull York Medical School/University of Hull), awarded 2016. University of Hull/Hull York Medical School research studentship. The role of endothelial adhesins in leukocyte adhesion in an experimental model of pharmaceutical agent-induced pulmonary fibrosis. Lead supervisor
  • 2008-2011 Ms Ai-Yen Chin, PhD (University of Hull/Renal Research Foundation/Respiratory Medicine), awarded 2013. Protease activated receptor-4 in lung and renal fibrosis. Lead supervisor
  • 2008-2011 Ms Aikaterina Bazakou, MPhil (University of Hull), awarded 2013. Regulation of Fc receptor function. Lead supervisor2009-2011 Dr Michael Crooks, MD (University of Hull), awarded 2012. Platelet and endothelial function in pulmonary fibrosis. Lead supervisor
  • 2008-2010 Dr Ahmed Fahim, MD (University of Hull), awarded 2011. Pathogenesis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Lead supervisor2010 Dr Chee Kay Cheung, MSc by research (Hull York Medical School), awarded 2011. PAR4 in renal fibrosis. Lead supervisor.
External roles
  • 2018-19 President of the Yorkshire Thoracic Society
  • 2018- PACES MRCP(UK) examiner, Royal College of Physicians
  • 2018- Independent Chair, Data Monitoring and Ethics Committee, NIHR HTA project 16/31/65 (Pneumonia trial)
  • 2018- Trustee, Morriston Davies Trust
  • 2017- International Advisory Board, The Lancet Respiratory Medicine
  • 2016- Member, British Thoracic Society clinical guideline development group - Long Term Macrolide Therapy for Chronic Lung Disease
  • 2015-18 Member of Council, British Thoracic Society
  • 2015-18 Member of British Thoracic Society Standards of Care committee
  • 2015- Member of Examination Board, Respiratory Specialist Certificate Examination (SCE), Royal College of Physicians
  • 2015- Trustee, Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • 2015- Member of Situational Judgement Test (SJT) review board2012- Member (group chair 2017,18), Question Writing Group, Respiratory Specialist Certificate Examination, Royal College of Physicians
  • 2012-2015 Member of British Thoracic Society Science and Research committee
  • 2011-2014 Chair, Oncology Trials Monitoring Group, Hull & East Yorkshire Hospitals
  • 2010-2013 British Thoracic Society Interstitial Lung Disease Specialty Advisory Group
  • 2009-2015 Clinical Lead for Respiratory Medicine, Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals