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Dr Jenny Dickens

What causes lung scarring? Clues from studying rare genetic forms of pulmonary fibrosis

Dr Jenny Dickens

Dr Jenny Dickens

Clinician Scientist & Respiratory Consultant, Addenbrooke’s and Royal Papworth hospitals


Dr. Jenny Dickens is a clinician scientist and respiratory consultant at Addenbrooke’s and Royal Papworth hospitals, as well as a busy mum to two young children. She qualified in medicine from Cambridge before choosing to specialise in respiratory diseases. She was awarded an MRC Clinical Training Fellowship and completed her PhD studying alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency in 2014. She has remained research-focused and was awarded an MRC Clinician Scientist Fellowship in 2018 to study why the lung becomes dysfunctional in the very early stages of the devastating lung disease pulmonary fibrosis by studying rare inherited (genetic) causes.

Jenny’s talk
Jenny’s talk will answer questions such as how do lungs become scarred? And how do we prevent this happening? Questions that patients with pulmonary fibrosis, a devastating condition of progressive lung scarring, desperately need to answer. Jenny will look at how inherited, or familial, forms of this condition can give us clues about how and where disease is triggered and how looking at these rare diseases can tell us so much about our lungs in health as well as in disease.

Who is your hero and why?
Honestly no one individual, but I have been inspired by those who have taught me to ask “why?” and not give up until I find the answer. In doing so, they have instilled in me an inquisitive nature that has made me a better doctor and better researcher.

Where is your favourite place in the world and why?
At the seaside. The sea air and sound of the waves brings me a huge sense of calm.

What is your greatest achievement?
Managing to pursue a research career and continue working as a doctor, whilst always making sure family comes first.

What is your wish for the future of rare disease?
Understanding rare disease can tell us so much about much more common related conditions. Through research, I am hopeful we can help not only those with rare conditions but also those with much more common diseases.