Professor Seif Shaheen, MA MRCP MSc PhD FFPH
Clinical Professor of Respiratory Epidemiology
Email: email@example.comTelephone: 020 7882 2480
Seif Shaheen is Clinical Professor of Respiratory Epidemiology in the Centre for Primary Care and Public Health, and is affiliated to the MRC and Asthma UK Centre in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma (http://www.asthma-allergy.ac.uk/) and the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research (https://www.aukcar.ac.uk/).
He read medical sciences at St John’s College, Cambridge and qualified in medicine at Guy’s Hospital London. After training in general medicine he joined the MRC Environmental Epidemiology Unit in Southampton as a Wellcome Trust Training Fellow in Clinical Epidemiology. He completed an MSc at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a PhD under the guidance of David Barker FRS, which nurtured his interest in the early life origins of respiratory disease. After a period of research in West Africa he joined Peter Burney’s group, most recently at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, where he was an Asthma UK Senior Research Fellow.
Associate Editor, Thorax
Chair elect of European Respiratory Society Group 06.04 (Genes and environment)
Public Engagement Activities:
- Inaugural lecture podcast
- Animation video
- Wellcome Collection 'Packed Lunch' podcast
- Pairing scheme with Lord Robert Winston
- Blizard video
Seif’s programme of collaborative epidemiological research is focused on understanding how environmental exposures such as diet and analgesic use, across the life course, influence the development and severity of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). He is particularly interested in the role of the prenatal environment and has expertise in genetic and nutritional epidemiology. The broad aim of his aetiological research is, through observational epidemiology and randomised controlled trials, to identify causes of asthma and COPD which are amenable to intervention, in order to devise strategies for primary and secondary prevention.
In 2000 Seif discovered a link between frequent paracetamol use and asthma in adults and subsequently a relation with prenatal exposure; these associations have since been confirmed in many epidemiological studies, and his research into this link continues. In his study of the early life determinants of childhood asthma and atopy, Seif has been using various methodological approaches to try to strengthen causal inference, including exploring gene-environment interactions; using Mendelian randomisation, negative parental controls and sibling control analysis; and following up prenatal nutrient supplementation trial cohorts.
Seif welcomes enquiries from prospective PhD students and postdocs interested in training in respiratory epidemiology, especially if interested in life course influences on respiratory health. European funding opportunities for postdocs include:
- The RESPIRE3 scheme (https://erscongress.org/respire/item/translational-research-unit-centre-for-primary-care-and-public-health-and-asthma-uk-centre-for-applied-research-blizard-institute-barts-and-the-london-school-of-medicine-queen-mary-university-of-london-uk.html?category_id=260)
- ERS Long-term Fellowship scheme (https://www.ersnet.org/professional-development/fellowships/long-term-research-fellowships)
For more information on specific potential projects: https://www.findapostdoc.com/search/job-details.aspx?jobcode=7374
Undergraduate: PBL tutor; OSCE examining
Postgraduate: Epidemiology and statistics module (MSc and BSc programmes)
Topics for PhD students and postdocs (enquires welcome): Environmental and genetic influences across the life course on asthma and COPD with a focus on:
- Diet and nutrition
- Analgesic use
For more information on specific potential projects: https://www.findapostdoc.com/search/job-details.aspx?jobcode=7374
Current research projects:
- Investigating the influence of maternal diet in pregnancy on childhood respiratory and atopic outcomes (funded by ERS Long-term Fellowship for Dr Annabelle Bedard)
- Understanding the link between analgesic use across the life course and asthma
Peer Reviewed Papers
Bedard A, Northstone K, Holloway JW, Henderson AJ, Shaheen SO. Maternal dietary antioxidant intake in pregnancy and childhood respiratory and atopic outcomes: birth cohort study. Eur Respir J 2018; 52: 1800507.
Bedard A, Lewis SJ, Burgess S, Henderson AJ, Shaheen SO. Maternal iron status during pregnancy and respiratory and atopicoutcomes in the offspring: a Mendelian randomization study. BMJ Open Respiratory Research 2018: 5:e000275.
Shaheen SO. Uric acid, lung function and COPD: a causal link is unlikely. Thorax 2018; 73: 697-698.
- Shaheen SO, Macdonald-Wallis C, Lawlor DA, Henderson AJ. Haemoglobin concentrations in pregnancy and respiratory and allergic outcomes in childhood: birth cohort study. Clin Exp Allergy 2017; 47: 1615-24.
- Brugha RE, Lowe R, Henderson AJ, Holloway JW, Rakyan V, Wozniak E, Mahmud N, Seymour K, Grigg J, Shaheen SO. DNA methylation profiles between airway epithelium and proxy tissues in children. Acta Paediatr 2017; 106: 2011–2016.
- Okely JA, Shaheen SO, Weiss A, Gale CR. Wellbeing and chronic lung disease incidence: The Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe. PLoS ONE 2017; 12: e0181320.
- Bedard A, Northstone K, Henderson AJ, Shaheen SO. Maternal intake of sugar during pregnancy and childhood respiratory and atopic outcomes. Eur Respir J 2017: 50: 1700073.
- Allinson JP, Hardy R, Donaldson GC, Shaheen SO, Kuh D, Wedzicha JA. Combined Impact of Smoking and Early Life Exposures on Adult Lung Function Trajectories. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2017; 196: 1021-30.
- Varraso R, Shaheen SO. Could a healthy diet attenuate COPD risk in smokers? Thorax 2017; 72: 491-492.
- Gallo V, Dijk FN, Holloway JW, Ring SM, Koppelman GH, Postma DS, Strachan DP, Granell R, de Jongste JC, Jaddoe VWV, den Dekker HT, Duijts L, Henderson AJ, Shaheen SO. TRPA1 gene polymorphisms and childhood asthma. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology 2017; 28: 191-98.
- Polanska K, Krol A, Kaluzny P, Ligocka D, Mikolajewska K, Shaheen S, Walton R, Hanke W. Estimation of saliva cotinine cut-off points for active and passive smoking during pregnancy – Polish Mother and Child Cohort (REPRO_PL). Int J Environ Res Public Health 2016; 13; 1216.
- Cai Y, Shaheen SO, Hardy R, Kuh D, Hansell AL. Birth weight, early childhood growth and lung function in middle to early old age: 1946 British birth cohort. Thorax 2016; 71:916-22.
- Allinson JP, Hardy R, Donaldson GC, Shaheen SO, Kuh D, Wedzicha JA. The Presence of chronic mucus hypersecretion across adult life in relation to COPD development. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2016; 193: 662-672.
- Shaheen SO, Macdonald-Wallis C, Lawlor DA, Henderson AJ. Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, respiratory outcomes and atopy in childhood. Eur Respir J 2016;47: 156-165.
- Shaheen SO. Acetaminophen and childhood asthma: pill-popping at our peril? J Allergy and Clin Immunol 2015; 135: 449-450.
- Shaheen SO, Rutterford C, Lewis SJ, Ring SM, Holloway JW, Golding J, Henderson AJ. Maternal selenium status in pregnancy, offspring glutathione peroxidase 4 genotype, and childhood asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2015; 135: 1083-5.
- Lee DCP, Walker SA, Byrne AJ, Gregory LG, Buckley J, Bush A, Shaheen SO, Saglani S, Lloyd CM. Peri-natal paracetamol exposure in mice does not affect the development of allergic airways disease in early life. Thorax 2015; 70: 528-36.
- Griffiths M, Goldring S, Griffiths C, Shaheen SO, Martineau AR, Cross L, Robinson S, Warner JO, Devine A, Boyle RJ. Effects of pre-natal vitamin D supplementation with partial correction of vitamin D deficiency on early life healthcare utilisation: a randomised controlled trial. PLOS ONE 2015; 10: e0145303
- Shaheen SO. Antioxidants and respiratory disease: the uric acid paradox. Thorax 2014; published online: doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2014-205751.
- Janha RE, Worwui A, Linton KJ, Shaheen SO, Sisay-Joof F, Walton RT. Inactive alleles of cytochrome P450 2C19 may be positively selected in human evolution. BMC Evolutionary Biology 2014; 14: 71.
- Shaheen SO, Rutterford C, Zuccolo L, Ring SM, Davey Smith G, Holloway JW, Henderson AJ. Prenatal alcohol exposure and childhood atopic disease: a Mendelian randomisation approach. J Allergy and Clin Immunol 2014; 133: 225-232.
- Vawda S, Mansour R, Takeda A, Funnell P, Kerry S, Mudway I, Jamaludin J, Shaheen S, Griffiths C, Walton R. Associations between inflammatory and immune response genes and adverse respiratory outcomes following exposure to outdoor air pollution: A HuGE systematic review. Am J Epidemiol 2014; 179: 432-42.
- Okubo H, Shaheen SO, Ntani G, Jameson KA, Syddall HE, Aihie Sayer A, Dennison EM, Cooper C, Robinson SM, The Hertfordshire Cohort Study Group. Processed meat consumption and lung function: modification by antioxidants and smoking. Eur Respir J 2014; 43: 972-82.
- Dennison EM, Dhanwal DK, Shaheen SO, Azagra R, Reading I, Jameson KA, Aihie Sayer A, Cooper C. Is lung function associated with bone mineral density? Results from the Hertfordshire Cohort Study. Archives of Osteoporosis 2013; 8: 115.
- Wills AK, Shaheen SO, Granell R, Henderson AJ, Fraser WD, Lawlor DA. Maternal 25-hydroxyvitamin D and its association with childhood atopic outcomes and lung function. Clin Exp Allergy 2013; 43:1180-1188.
- Goldring ST, Griffiths CJ, Martineau A, Robinson S, Yu C, Poulton S, Kirkby JC, Stocks J, Hooper RL, Shaheen SO, Warner JO, Boyle RJ. Prenatal vitamin D supplementation and child respiratory health: a randomised controlled trial. PLoS One 2013; 8(6):e66627.
- Henderson AJ, Shaheen SO. Acetaminophen and asthma. Paediatric Respiratory Reviews 2013; 14: 9-16.
- Relton CL, Groom A, St Pourcain B, Sayers AE, Swan DC, Embleton ND, Pearce MS, Ring SM, Northstone K, Tobias JH, Trakalo J, Ness AR, Shaheen SO, Davey Smith G. DNA methylation patterns in cord blood DNA and body size in childhood. PLoS ONE 2012; 7(3): e31821. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031821.
- Shaheen SO, Martineau A. Vitamin D and COPD: justified optimism or false hope? Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2012; 185: 239-241.
- Soler Artigas M, et al, Shaheen SO et al. Effect of 5 genetic variants associated with lung function on the risk of COPD, and their joint effects on lung function. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2011; 184: 786-795.
- Goldring S, Warner JO, Shaheen SO, Boyle RJ. Early life vitamin D status and lung development. Current Respiratory Medicine Reviews 2011; 7: 396-403.
- Shaheen SO. Paracetamol and asthma: lessons from the antibiotic hypothesis? Int J Epidemiol 2011; 40: 667-669.
- Shaheen SO, Jameson KA, Robinson SM, Boucher B, Syddall HE, Aihie Sayer A, Cooper C, Holloway JW, Dennison EM. Relationship of vitamin D status to adult lung function and COPD. Thorax 2011; 66:692-98.
- Minelli C, Wei I, Sagoo G, Jarvis D, Shaheen S, Burney P. Interactive effects of antioxidant genes and air pollution on respiratory function and airway disease: a HuGE systematic review. Am J Epidemiol 2011; 173:603-620.
- Greenough A, Shaheen S, Shennan A, Seed P, Poston L. Respiratory outcomes in early childhood following antenatal vitamin C and E supplementation. Thorax 2010; 65: 998-1003.
- Shaheen SO, Newson RB, Rose-Zerilli M, Ring SM, Holloway JW, Henderson AJ. Prenatal and infant acetaminophen exposure, antioxidant gene polymorphisms and childhood asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2010; 126: 1141-1148.
- Henderson AJ, Newson RB, Rose-Zerilli M, Ring SM, Holloway JW, Shaheen SO. Maternal Nrf2 and glutathione-S-transferase polymorphisms do not modify associations of prenatal tobacco smoke exposure with asthma and lung function in school-aged children. Thorax 2010; 65: 897-902.
- Shaheen SO, Newson RB, Davey Smith G, Henderson AJ. Prenatal paracetamol exposure and asthma: further evidence against confounding. Int J Epidemiol 2010; 39: 790-794.
- Repapi E, Sayers I, Wain LV, Burton PR, Johnson T, Obeidat M, Zhao JH, Ramasamy A, Zhai G, Vitart V, Huffman JE, Igl W, Albrecht E, Deloukas P, Henderson J, Granell R, McArdle WL, Rudnicka AR, Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium, Barroso I, Loos RJF, Wareham NJ, Mustelin L, Rantanen T, Surakka I, Imboden M, Wichmann HE, Grkovic I, Jankovic S, Zgaga L, Hartikainen A-L, Peltonen L, Gyllensten U, Johansson A, Zaboli G, Campbell H, Wild SH, Wilson JF, Gläser S, Homuth G, Völzke H, Mangino M, Soranzo N, Spector TD, Polašek O, Rudan I, Wright AF, Heliövaara M, Ripatti S, Naluai AT, Olin A-C, Torén K, Cooper MN, James AL, Palmer LJ, Hingorani AD, Wannamethee SG, Whincup PH, Davey Smith G, Ebrahim S, McKeever TM, Pavord ID, MacLeod AK, Morris AD, Porteous DJ, Cooper C, Dennison E, Shaheen S, Karrasch S, Schnabel E, Schulz H, Grallert H, Bouatia-Naji N, Delplanque J, Froguel P, Blakey JD, The NSHD Respiratory Study Team, Britton JR, Morris RW, Holloway JW, Lawlor DA, Hui J, Nyberg F, Jarvelin M-R, Jackson C, Kähönen M, Kaprio J, Probst-Hensch NM, Koch B, Hayward C, Evans DM, Elliott P, Strachan DP, Hall IP, Tobin MD. Genome-wide association study identifies five new loci associated with lung function. Nature Genetics 2010; 42: 36-44.
- Shaheen SO, Jameson KA, Syddall HE, Aihie Sayer A, Dennison E, Cooper C, Robinson SM. The relationship of dietary patterns with adult lung function and COPD. Eur Respir J 2010. 36: 277-84.
- Minelli C & Granell R, Newson RB, Rose-Zerilli MJ, Torrent M, Ring SM, Holloway JW, Shaheen SO, Henderson AJ. Glutathione-S-transferase genes and asthma phenotypes: a HuGE systematic review and meta-analysis including unpublished data. Human Genome Epidemiology (HuGE) Review. Int J Epidemiol 2010; 39: 539-562.
- Bakolis I, Hooper R, Thompson RL, Shaheen SO. Dietary patterns and adult asthma: population-based case-control study. Allergy 2010; 65: 606–615.
- Shaheen SO, Adcock IM. The developmental origins of asthma: does epigenetics hold the key? Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2009; 180: 690-691.
- Rose-Zerilli M, Barton SJ, Henderson AJ, Shaheen SO, Holloway JW. GSTT1 & GSTM1 real-time PCR copy number variation assays for high-throughput genotyping. Clinical Chemistry 2009; 55: 1680-1685.
- Shaheen SO, Northstone K, Newson RB, Emmett PM, Sherriff A, Henderson AJ. Dietary patterns in pregnancy and respiratory and atopic outcomes in childhood. Thorax 2009; 64: 411-17.
- Shaheen S, et al. The relation between paracetamol use and asthma: a GA2LEN European case-control study. Eur Respir J 2008 ; 32: 1231-1236.
- Shaheen SO, Cullinan P. Peanuts in pregnancy: what is a mother to do? Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2008; 178: 113-5. (editorial).
- Henderson J, Granell R, Heron J, Sherriff A, Simpson A, Woodcock A, Strachan DP, Shaheen SO, Sterne JAC. Associations of early wheezing phenotypes with asthma, atopy, and respiratory function in children. Thorax 2008; 63: 974-980.
- Shaheen SO. Prenatal nutrition and asthma: hope or hype? Thorax 2008; 63: 483-5. (editorial).
- Burney P, Potts J, Makowska J, Kowalski M, Phillips J, Gnatiuc L, Shaheen S, et al. A case-control study of the relation between plasma selenium and asthma in European populations: a GA2LEN project. Allergy 2008; 63: 865-71.
- Okoko BJ, Burney PGJ, Newson RB, Potts JF, Shaheen SO. Childhood asthma and fruit consumption in South London. Eur Respir J 2007; 29: 1161-68.
- Shaheen SO, Newson RB, Rayman MP, Wong AP-L, Tumilty MK, Phillips JM, Potts JF, Kelly FJ, White PT, Burney PGJ. Randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of selenium supplementation in adult asthma. Thorax 2007; 62: 483-490.
- Shaheen SO, Hines M, Newson RB, Wheeler M, Herrick DRM, Strachan DP, Jones RW, Burney PGJ, Henderson AJ. Maternal testosterone in pregnancy and atopic outcomes in childhood. Allergy 2007; 62: 25-32.
- Tricon S, Willers S, Smit HA, Burney PG, Devereux G, Frew AJ, Halken S, Host A, Nelson M, Shaheen S, Warner JO, Calder PC. Nutrition and allergic disease. Clin Exp Allergy Rev 2006; 6: 117-188.
- Garcia V, Arts IC, Sterne JAC, Thompson RL, Shaheen SO. Dietary intake of flavonoids and asthma in adults. Eur Respir J 2005; 26: 449-452.
- Shaheen SO, Newson RB, Henderson AJ, Headley JE, Stratton FD, Jones RW, Strachan DP, and the ALSPAC Study Team. Prenatal paracetamol exposure and risk of asthma and elevated IgE in childhood. Clin Exp Allergy 2005; 35:18-25.
- Newson RB, Shaheen SO, Henderson AJ, Emmett PM, Sherriff A, Calder PC, and the ALSPAC Study Team. Umbilical cord and maternal blood red cell fatty acids and early childhood wheezing and eczema. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2004; 114:531-537.
- Shaheen SO, Newson RB, Henderson AJ, Emmett PM, Sherriff A, Cooke M, and the ALSPAC Study Team. Umbilical cord trace elements and minerals and risk of early childhood wheezing and eczema. Eur Respir J 2004; 24:292-97.
- Shaheen SO, Newson RB, Sherriff A, Henderson AJ, Heron JE, Burney PGJ, Golding J, and the ALSPAC Study Team. Paracetamol use in pregnancy and wheezing in early childhood. Thorax 2002; 57: 958-63.
- Shaheen SO, Sterne JAC, Thompson RL, Songhurst CE, Margetts BM, Burney PGJ. Dietary antioxidants and asthma in adults: population based case-control study. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2001; 164: 1823-28.
- Newson RB, Shaheen SO, Chinn S, Burney PGJ. Paracetamol sales and atopic disease in children and adults: an ecological analysis. Eur Respir J 2000: 16: 817-23.
- Shaheen S. Shots in the desert and Gulf War Syndrome (editorial). BMJ 2000; 320:1351-2.
- Aaby P, Shaheen SO, Heyes CB, Goudiaby A, Hall AJ, Shiell AW, Jensen H, Marchant A. Early BCG vaccination and reduction in atopy in Guinea-Bissau. Clin Exp Allergy 2000; 30: 644-50.
- Shaheen SO, Sterne JAC, Songhurst CE, Burney PGJ. Frequent paracetamol use and asthma in adults. Thorax 2000; 55: 266-70.
- Shaheen SO, Sterne JAC, Montgomery SM, Azima H. Birth weight, body mass index and asthma in young adults. Thorax 1999; 54: 396-402.
- Shaheen SO. Obesity and asthma: cause for concern (editorial) Clin Exp Allergy 1999; 29: 291-3.
- Shaheen SO, Sterne J, Tucker J, Florey C du V. Birth weight, childhood lower respiratory tract infection and adult lung function. Thorax 1998; 53: 549-53.
- Shaheen S. Discovering the causes of atopy. (editorial) BMJ 1997; 314: 987-8.
- Shaheen SO. The beginnings of chronic airflow obstruction. In: Fetal and early childhood environment: long-term health implications. Eds Marmot MG, Wadsworth MEJ. Royal Society of Medicine Press. British Medical Bulletin 1997; 53 (1): 58-70.
- Stein CE, Kumaran K, Fall CHD, Shaheen SO, Osmond C, Barker DJP. Relation of fetal growth to adult lung function in South India. Thorax 1997; 52: 895-99.
- Shaheen SO, Aaby P, Hall AJ, Barker DJP, Heyes CB, Shiell AW, Goudiaby A. Cell-mediated immunity after measles infection in Guinea-Bissau: historical cohort study. BMJ 1996; 313: 969-74.
- Shaheen SO, Aaby P, Hall AJ, Barker DJP, Heyes CB, Shiell AW, Goudiaby A. Measles and atopy in Guinea-Bissau. Lancet 1996; 347: 1792-6.
- Shaheen SO. Changing patterns of childhood infection and the rise in allergic disease. Clin Exp Allergy 1995; 25: 1034-7.
- Shaheen SO, Barker DJP, Holgate ST. Do lower respiratory tract infections in early childhood cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease? Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1995; 151: 1649-52.
- Shaheen SO, Barker DJP. Early lung growth and chronic airflow obstruction. Thorax 1994; 49: 533-536.
- Shaheen SO, Barker DJP, Shiell AW, Crocker FJ, Wield GA, Holgate ST. The relationship between pneumonia in early childhood and impaired lung function in late adult life. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1994; 149: 616-619.
- Barker DJP, Godfrey KM, Fall C, Osmond C, Winter PD, Shaheen SO. Relation of birth weight and childhood respiratory infection to adult lung function and death from chronic obstructive airways disease. BMJ 1991;303:671-5.
Chapters and Commentaries In Books
- D. Jarvis, S. Shaheen and P. Burney. Epidemiology of Atopy and Atopic Disease. In: Allergy and Allergic Diseases (second edition). Eds. Kay B, Kaplan A, Bousquet J, Holt P. Blackwell, Oxford.
- D. Jarvis, S. Shaheen and P. Burney. The epidemiology of asthma and allergic rhinitis. In: "Allergy Frontiers: From Epigenetics to Future Perspectives". Eds. Pawankar, Holgate,S., Rossenwasser. Springer Japan KK.
- Shaheen SO. The geography of asthma and atopy: after the Berlin wall came down. Landmark Papers in Allergy: Seminal Papers in Allergy with Expert Commentaries. Eds:Sheikh A, Platts-Mills T, Worth A, Holgate S. OUP 2013.
View all Seif Shaheen's Research Publications at: http://www.researchpublications.qmul.ac.uk