Yesterday we had a visit from Dr Caroline Beardsmore, a senior lecturer at the University of Leicester, and her PhD student, Nidhal Gharbawi. They are about to start work on a large research project looking at differences in respiratory muscle strength between white children and children from Indian backgrounds. They had come to our lab to get some hints and tips about the best way to make these measurements, and exactly what measurements to make. We had a very useful couple of hours discussing various tests and how to encourage young children to perform the tests to the best of their ability. It sounds like Nidhal has a lot of hard work ahead of her, but the data will be really useful to other researchers using measurements of breathing muscle strength – there are some published studies that have examined respiratory muscle strength in healthy children (including some done in King’s Muscle Lab) but we don’t know if someones ethnic background makes a difference. It’s important to know what ‘normal’ is so that we can accurately interpret data from patients. We wish Nidhal the best of luck with her PhD and hope to see her and Dr Beardsmore again – perhaps at a conference with them presenting their results. Thanks also to Nidhal and her selfie stick for the photo!