Hull York Medical School


Dr Simon Hart
Senior Lecturer in Respiratory Medicine

Dr Simon Hart is Senior Lecturer in Respiratory Medicine at Hull York Medical School and the University of Hull.

He graduated from Edinburgh University and trained in respiratory and general (internal) medicine in south-east Scotland. He did his PhD in the MRC Centre for Inflammation Research and in 2001 he was awarded an MRC Clinician Scientist fellowship.

He is Honorary Consultant in Respiratory Medicine at Castle Hill Hospital where he runs the Hull Interstitial Lung Disease Clinic and participates in the acute general medicine rota.

His research interests include the pathogenesis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and other interstitial lung diseases, genetics and immunology of lung disease, inflammatory cell biology, and cell surface alterations associated with apoptosis (programmed cell death).

Current projects based in our lab in the Daisy Clinical Research and Teaching Building (2nd floor), Castle Hill Hospital:

1. Clinical studies on the pathogenesis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a devastating progressive scarring disease affecting the lungs of older people. Its prognosis is worse than that of many cancers and there is no effective medical treatment. Development of effective therapies in the future will depend on a clear understanding of what initiates and perpetuates lung scarring. We are using a translational biology "bench to bedside" approach to address this challenge using clinical samples from patients with IPF attending the Hull Interstitial Lung Disease clinic.

2. Protease-activated receptors (PARs) in lung and kidney fibrosis

Fibrotic (scarring) diseases of the lungs and kidneys account for a large burden of mortality, morbidity, and health care costs. There are many similarities in the histological features of fibrosis in the lungs and kidneys. Both are characterised by proliferation and activation of fibroblasts, which lay down collagen and other extracellular matrix molecules. The role of the thrombin receptor PAR1 in fibrosis is well established. We are examining the role of PAR4 in primary fibroblast cultures derived from resected human lung and kidney tissue. In particular, we are investigating how PAR4 expression is modified by inflammatory cytokines, and the response to PAR4 ligation by enzymes and synthetic activating peptides in terms of fibroblast proliferation, apoptosis (programmed cell death), and activation/differentiation into myofibroblasts.

3. Regulation of leukocyte Fcgamma receptor function by proteases

The low affinity IgG receptor FcgammaRIIA (CD32A) is a unique human molecule which has been implicated in activation of neutrophils by immune complexes. We have demonstrated that CD32A on resting neutrophils exhibits repressed IgG complex binding, which is reversed following apoptosis. Similarly, serine proteases enable IgG complex binding to CD32A. We are investigating the molecular mechanisms and functional consequences of CD32A regulation in myeloid cells. 

  1. Fahim A, Crooks MG, Wilmot R, Campbell AP, Morice AH, Hart SP. Serum carcinoembryonic antigen correlates with severity of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Respirology. 2012;17:1247-52

  2. Fahim A, Chong MC, Crooks MG, Hart SP. Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis is Associated with Circulating Antiepithelial Antibodies. Lung. 2012;190:451-458

  3. Hart SP, Rossi AG, Haslett C, Dransfield I. Characterization of the Effects of Cross-Linking of Macrophage CD44 Associated with Increased Phagocytosis of Apoptotic PMN. PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e33142

  4. Fahim A, Crooks M, Hart SP. Gastroesophageal reflux and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: a review. Pulm Med. 2011;2011:634613. PubMed PMID: 21738875

  5. Bournazos S, Bournazou I, Murchison JT, Wallace WA, McFarlane P, Hirani N, Simpson AJ, Dransfield I, Hart SP. Copy number variation of FCGR3B is associated with susceptibility to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Respiration.2011;81:142-9.

  6. Goh YC, Yap CT, Huang BH, Cronshaw AD, Leung BP, Lai PB, Hart SP, Dransfield I, Ross JA. Heat-shock protein 60 translocates to the surface of apoptotic cells and differentiated megakaryocytes and stimulates phagocytosis. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2011 68:1581-92.

  7. Bournazos S, Bournazou I, Murchison JT, Wallace WA, McFarlane P, Hirani N, Simpson AJ, Dransfield I, Hart SP. Fcγ receptor IIIb (CD16b) polymorphisms are associated with susceptibility to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Lung. 2010;188:475-81

  8. Bournazos S, Grinfeld J, Alexander KM, Murchison JT, Wallace WA, McFarlane P, Hirani N, Simpson AJ, Dransfield I, Hart SP. Association of FcγRIIa R131H polymorphism with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis severity and progression. BMC Pulm Med. 2010;10:51.

  9. Bournazos S, Fahim A, Hart SP. Identification of fibrocytes in peripheral blood. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2009;180:1279

  10. Faruqi S, Kastelik JA, Cowen ME, Hart SP. All that wheezes is not asthma. N Z Med J. 2009;122:78-80

  11. Bournazos S, Woof JM, Hart SP, Dransfield I. Functional and clinical consequences of Fc receptor polymorphic and copy number variants. Clin Exp Immunol. 2009;157:244-54

  12. Bournazos S, Hart SP, Chamberlain LH, Glennie MJ, Dransfield I. Association of FcgammaRIIa (CD32a) with lipid rafts regulates ligand binding activity. J Immunol. 2009;182:8026-36

  13. Kilpatrick DC, Chalmers JD, MacDonald SL, Murray M, Mohammed A, Hart SP, Matsushita M, Hill A. Stable bronchiectasis is associated with low serum L-ficolin concentrations. Clin Respir J. 2009 Jan;3:29-33.

  14. Bournazos S, Rennie J, Hart SP, Fox KA, Dransfield I. Monocyte functional responsiveness after PSGL-1-mediated platelet adhesion is dependent on platelet activation status. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2008;28:1491-8.

  15. Bournazos S, Rennie J, Hart SP, Dransfield I. Choice of anticoagulant critically affects measurement of circulating platelet-leukocyte complexes. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2008;28(1):e2-3

  16. Hart SP, Dransfield I, Rossi AG. Phagocytosis of apoptotic cells. Methods 2008;44:280-285

  17. Taylor EL, Rossi AG, Dransfield I, Hart SP. Analysis of neutrophil apoptosis. Methods Mol Biol. 2007;412:177-200 

Chair, HYMS Academic Progress Committee

Block lead for blocks 13 and 18 (cardiovascular/respiratory)

Delivers plenaries for phases I and II

Phase 1 year 2 clinical placement tutor

Year 5 clinical tutor (general medicine)

Sits on curriculum committees, exam boards, and contributes to question setting, examining, and marking.
British Thoracic Society science & research committee

British Thoracic Society interstitial lung disease speciality advisory group

Royal College of Physicians SCE question writing group (respiratory medicine)

Resuscitation Council (UK) ALS Instructor
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