Life of Breath project awarded £1.5m grant from the Wellcome Trust
1 January 2015
Life of Breath is a five-year senior investigator award, funded by the Wellcome Trust awarded to Prof. Havi Carel at the University of Bristol and Prof. Jane Macnaughton at Durham University. The project examines historical, philosophical, cultural and anthropological aspects of breathing and breathlessness.
Breathing is a basic physiological process, but also has deep cultural and personal meaning. It is intimately associated with our state of mind and can be controlled. Breathing's pathological derivative, breathlessness, is a major symptom in cardiac disease, respiratory disease and anxiety disorders and respiratory disease. Whilst its physiology is well recognised, the subjective experience of breathing and of breathlessness is poorly understood. The Life of Breath project sets out to address this problem with a novel interdisciplinary study of a somatic sensation, breathlessness, and its non-pathological counterpart, breathing.