Dr Helen Parfrey is a chest physician for the Cambridge Interstitial Lung Disease Unit.  After qualifying in medicine from the University of Oxford, she completed her training in Respiratory medicine in Cambridge. She was awarded MRC Clinical Training fellowship for structural biology studies on the polymerization of alpha1-antitrysin leading to her PhD at University of Cambridge.

This was followed by a Wellcome Trust Intermediate Fellowship undertaken at National Jewish Health in Denver, Colorado studying the role of TNF signalling in lung injury.  She has clinical and translational research interests in the role of innate immunity and infection in pulmonary fibrosis.  She also has an interest in the genetics of familial and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. 

Dr Parfrey is a strong supporter of patient advocacy having established the pulmonary fibrosis patient support group at Royal Papworth Hospital, she was involved with BLF IPF patient charter and is a trustee for the charity Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis.

Specialist Clinical Interests

Investigation and management of Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), hypersensitivity pneumonitits and sarcoidosis. Connective tissue disease associated ILD is managed in a specialist clinical service with Department of Rheumatology at CUH/Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

Research Interests

1. Role of innate immunity in mechanisms of pulmonary fibrosis (TNF signaling, neutrophil biology and infection)
2. Genetics of pulmonary fibrosis
3. Clinical trials for IPF

Education and Training

1990 BA Physiological Sciences IIi University of Oxford
1993 BM BCh University of Oxford
2003 CCST in Respiratory and General Internal Medicine
2004 PhD University of Cambridge
2009 FRCP Royal College of Physicians, London

Current membership(s) of professional, national and regional bodies and university posts

Fellow of Royal College of Physicians
General Medical Council Reg No 4034676
Member of British Thoracic Society
Member of American Thoracic Society
Member of BTS Interstitial Lung Disease Registry Steering Committee
Member of British Lung Foundation ILD Advisory Board
Member of British Lung Foundation IPF Advisory Group
Supervisor Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge

Recent and Important Publications

Wilson EC, Shulgina L, Cahn AP, Chilvers ER, Parfrey H, Clark AB, Twenty OP, Wilson AM.  Treating idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis with the addition of co-trimoxazole: an economic evaluation alongside a randomized controlled trial.  Pharmacoeconomics 2014; 32:87-99

Shulgina L, Cahn AP, Chilvers ER, Parfrey H, Clark AB, Wilson EC, Twentyman OP, Davison AG, Curtin JJ, Crawford MB, Wilson AM.  Treating idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis with the addition of co-trimoxazole: a randomized controlled trial.  Thorax  2013; 68:155-62

Wuyts WA, Agostini C, Antoniou K, Bouros D, Chambers R, Cottin V, Egan J, Lambrecht B, Lories R, Parfrey H, Prasse A, Robalo-Cordeiro C, Verbeken E, Verschakelen J, Wells A, Verleden G.  The pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis: a moving target.  Eur Respir J  2013; 41:1207-18

Reddy T, Tominaga M, Hansell DM, von der Thusen J, Rassl D, Parfrey H, Guy S, Twentyman O, Rice A, Maher T, Renzoni E, Wells AU, Nicholson AG.  Pleuroparenchymal fibroelastosis: a spectrum of histopathological and imaging phenotypes.  Eur Respir J  2012; 40:377-85

Hadjinicolaou AV, Nisar MK, Parfrey H, Chilvers ER, Ostör AJ.  Non-infectious pulmonary toxicity of Rituximab.  Rheumatology  2012; 51:653-62

Irving JA, Ekeowa UI, Belorgey D, Haq I, Gooptu B, Miranda E, Pérez J, Roussel BD, Ordóñez A, Dalton LE, Thomas SE, Marciniak SJ, Parfrey H, Chilvers ER, Teckman JH, Alam S, Mahadeva R, Rashid ST, Vallier L, Lomas DA.  The serpinopathies studying serpin polymerization in vivo.  Methods Enzymol 2011; 501:421-66

Jenkins G, Blanchard A, Borok Z, Bradding P, Ehrhardt E, Fisher A, Hirani N, Johnson S, Konigshoff M, Maher T, Millar A, Parfrey H, Scotton C, Tetley T, Thickett D and Wolters P.  In search of the fibrotic epithelial cell: opportunities for a collaborative network.  Thorax 2012; 67:179-82

Fang B, Bhagat S, Busch R, Parfrey H, Hall FC.  Potential biomarkers of monocyte /macrophage activity in a patient with sarcoidosis, treated with infliximab.  Rheumatology 2011; 50:992-4

Terry Powers JL, Mace KE, Parfrey H, Lee SJ, Zhang G, Riches DW.  TNF receptor-1 (TNF-R1) Ubiquitous Scaffolding and Signaling Protein Interacts with TNF-R1 and TRAF2 via an N-Terminal Docking Interface.  Biochemistry  2010;  49:7821-9

Parfrey H, Farahi N, Porter L, Chilvers ER.  Live and let die: is neutrophil apoptosis defective in severe asthma?  Thorax  2010;  65:665-7

Mace KM, Lussier MP, Boulay G, Perraud A-L, Terry-Powers JL, Parfrey H, Riches DWH.  TRUSS, TNF-R1 and TRPC ion channels synergistically relieve endoplasmic reticulum calcium depletion in response to m1 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor signalling.  J Cell Physiol  2010; 225:444-53

Parfrey H, Dafforn TR, Lomas DA, Mahadeva R.  Inhibiting polymerisation: new therapeutic strategies for Z 1-antitrypsin related emphysema. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol  2004; 31:133-139

Parfrey H, Mahadeva R, Ravenhill N, Zhou A, Dafforn TR, Foreman RC, Lomas DA.  Targeting a surface cavity of 1-antitrypsin to prevent conformational disease.  J Biol Chem  2003; 278:33060-33066

Devlin GL, Parfrey H, Tew DJ, Lomas DA, Bottomley SP.  Prevention of polymerization of M and Z alpha1-Antitrypsin (alpha1-AT) with trimethylamine N-oxide. Implications for the treatment of alpha 1-at deficiency. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol  2001; 24:727-32