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BSMS > About BSMS > Contact us > Staff > Professor Somnath Mukhopadhyay

Professor Somnath Mukhopadhyay

Prof Somnath Mukhopadhay

Professor Somnath Mukhopadhyay (MBBS, MD, PhD, FRCPCH, DCH)

Chair in Paediatrics
T: +44 (0)1273 696955 (x62397)
Location: Academic Department of Paediatrics, Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital, Level 6, Room 601, Eastern Road, Brighton, BN2 5BE

DA: Katie Isaac

+44 (0)1273 696955 x62409
Tel: 01273 696955 (x62409)

Area of expertise: Children’s asthma, allergy, respiratory medicine

Research areas: Developing precision medicine strategies for asthma and related diseases in children

Other relevant positions: Joint Head of the Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Co-Director of Doctoral Studies, Chair of Phase Examination Boards at the Medical School, Course Principal for MSc (Paediatrics).

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Read the REF 2021 impact case study here >

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Mukhopadhyay graduated from Kolkata (India) and moved to the United Kingdom to train in paediatrics with the aim of contributing to progress in children’s health through innovative research that leads to direct benefit for society. Alongside training in clinical paediatrics (Kolkata, Merseyside, Bristol, Tayside), he received training in clinical research methodology (Cystic Fibrosis Trust Clinical Research Fellow, University of Bristol Medical School) and laboratory research methodology (Wellcome Trust Advanced Research Training Fellow, University of Dundee Medical School). Subsequently, he joined the University of Dundee Medical School as clinical senior lecturer (honorary consultant) in paediatric respiratory medicine (1997-2007). He was appointed to the Foundation Chair in Paediatrics (honorary consultant), Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital and the Brighton and Sussex Medical School in 2007.   

Mukhopadhyay’s work on the role of skin barrier function and other gene variation in allergy-related diseases has led to a change in the management of paediatric asthma and eczema. This has become life-changing for the most severely affected patients. Research evidence was used to establish a new person-centred clinical approach at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (Brighton, UK), changing the provision of care for children under 6 months of age. The research is central to the Royal College of General Practitioners’ training on allergy, with 5,489 health professionals trained since 2016. The findings are also a key reference point on the selection of appropriate treatments in the published guidance for health professionals from the National Asthma Council in Australia. Mukhopadyay has driven academic development in paediatrics at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospitaland across Sussex.


Through a better understanding of specific disease subtypes that guide the development of ‘precision medicine’ strategies, Mukhopadhyay and colleagues have created and tested new person-centred approaches for the management of childhood asthma and eczema. Between 2008 and 2020, two areas of this research have made progress towards translating research findings to clinical benefit: i) skin barrier function and ii) genotype- led improvements in efficacy of medical treatments.

Mukhopadhyay’s research has tracked the impact of common genetic changes resulting in defective skin barrier function, demonstrating poorer disease control, such as increased prescription of asthma and eczema medicines, and greater risk of asthma attacks. A parallel programme shows how adverse changes to the beta2-adrenoceptor gene led to diminished long- acting beta2-adrenoceptor agonist (eg salmeterol) efficacy, thus increasing the risk of asthma attacks in children. The novelty of the research is evidenced by Sir Stephen Holgate, an internationally respected expert in asthma, who stated that the results constitute ‘one of the first demonstrations of the application of personalised medicine to the clinical management of asthma’. The impact of the research on treatment response and genetic variation has affected diverse beneficiaries (patients and carers, clinicians, trainees and regulatory bodies) locally, nationally and internationally.




As Chair of Paediatrics, Mukhopadhyay maintains oversight of undergraduate paediatric teaching, which is ably led by Dr. Katy Fidler, Clinical Senior Lecturer. Mukhopadhyay maintains oversight of undergraduate assessment through his role as Chair of a number of phase examination boards at the Medical School. As Course Principal for the MSc in Paediatrics at the BSMS, Mukhopadhyay oversees a multi-disciplinary and innovative course that aims to re-direct clinical trainees towards more patient-focussed and individualised approaches in clinical practice. As Co-Director for Doctoral Studies, Mukhopadhyay oversees research training, particularly for clinicians. He supervises and mentors MD and PhD students, consultants and nurses, overseeing the academic development of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital and other areas of clinical paediatrics within Sussex.   

Selected publications

Ruffles T, Jones CJ, Palmer C, Turner S, Grigg J, Tavendale R, Hogarth F, Rauchhaus P, Pilvinyte K, Hannah R, Smith H, Littleford R, Lipworth B, Mukhopadhyay S. Asthma prescribing according to Arg16Gly beta-2 genotype: a randomised trial in adolescents. (2021) Eur Respir J. :2004107. doi:10.1183/13993003.04107-2020. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33479111.

Basu K, Inglis SK, Bremner SA, Ramsay R, Abd A, Rabe H, Strange E, Phillips V, Seddon P, Tavendale R, Memon A, Palmer CNA, Fidler K, Mukhopadhyay S. Filaggrin gene defects are associated with eczema, wheeze, and nasal disease during infancy: Prospective study. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2020Sep;146(3):681-682. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2020.02.036. Epub 2020 Apr 27. PMID: 32354531.

Soares, P., Fidler, K., Felton, J., Tavendale, R., Hövels, A., Bremner, S. A., Palmer, C. N. A., & Mukhopadhyay, S. (2018). Increased medication costs for filaggrin-related eczema and asthma. British Journal of Dermatology, 179(3), e136–e136. 

Lipworth, B. J., Basu, K., Donald, H. P., Tavendale, R., Macgregor, D. F., Ogston, S. A., Palmer, C. N. A., & Mukhopadhyay, S. (2013). Tailored second-line therapy in asthmatic children with the Arg(16) genotype. Clinical Science (London, England: 1979), 124(8), 521–528. 

Turner, S., Francis, B., Vijverberg, S., Pino-Yanes, M., Maitland-van der Zee, A. H., Basu, K., Bignell, L., Mukhopadhyay, S., Tavendale, R., Palmer, C., Hawcutt, D., Pirmohamed, M., Burchard, E. G., Lipworth, B., & Pharmacogenomics in Childhood Asthma Consortium. (2016). Childhood asthma exacerbations and the Arg16 β2-receptor polymorphism: A meta-analysis stratified by treatment. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 138(1), 107-113.e5. 

Mukhopadhyay S., Sypek J., Tavendale R., Gartner U., Winter J., Li W., Page K., Fleming M., Brady J., O’Toole M., Macgregor D.F., Goldman S., Tam S., Abraham W., Williams C., Miller D.K., Palmer C.N.A. (2010).  Matrix metalloproteinase-12 is a therapeutic target for asthma in children and young adults Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 126, 70-6.

Basu, K., Palmer, C. N. A., Tavendale, R., Lipworth, B. J., & Mukhopadhyay, S. (2009). Adrenergic beta(2)-receptor genotype predisposes to exacerbations in steroid-treated asthmatic patients taking frequent albuterol or salmeterol. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 124(6), 1188-1194.e3. 

Bisgaard, H., Simpson, A., Palmer, C. N. A., Bønnelykke, K., McLean, I., Mukhopadhyay, S., Pipper, C. B., Halkjaer, L. B., Lipworth, B., Hankinson, J., Woodcock, A., & Custovic, A. (2008). Gene-environment interaction in the onset of eczema in infancy: Filaggrin loss-of- function mutations enhanced by neonatal cat exposure. PLoS Medicine, 5(6), e131.

Palmer CNA, Irvine AD, Terron-Kwiatkowski A, Zhao Y, Liao H, Lee SP, Goudie DR, Sandilands A, Campbell LE, Smith FJD, O’Regan GM, Watson RM, Cecil JE, Bale SJ, Compton JG, DiGiovanna JJ, Fleckman P, Lewis-Jones S, Arseculeratne G, Sergeant A, Munro CS, El Houate B, McElreavey K, Halkjaer LB, Bisgaard H, Mukhopadhyay S, McLean WH. (2006). Common loss-of-function variants of the epidermal barrier protein filaggrin are a major predisposing factor for atopic dermatitis. Nature Genetics, 38(4), 441-446.

Nebulized anti-pseudomonal antibiotic therapy in CF: a meta-analysis of benefits and risks. Mukhopadhyay S, Singh M, Cater JI, Ogston S, Franklin M, Olver RE. (1996). Thorax, 51, 364-368.

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