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Professor Kian Fan Chung

Professor Fan Chung

Professor of respiratory medicine


Areas of expertise

Professor Chung's areas of expertise include asthma, especially in the diagnosis and treatment of particularly severe troublesome asthma, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema and in the diagnosis and treatment of troublesome cough. 


His research looks at why some patients with asthma develop severe asthma and why bronchitis can progress into COPD by studying how inflammation and scarring of the lungs can lead to these conditions. He is also interested in developing new cough suppressants.

More specifically, his current interests are focused on the role of airway smooth muscle and effects of oxidant stress on muscle function, on the mechanisms underlying corticosteroid resistance, and on the impact of environmental pollution and nanoparticles on the lungs. 

The translational aspects relate to the chronic airflow obstruction and inflammation of asthma and COPD and in finding new treatments, particularly related to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory therapies. 

He has also an interest in the neural pathways of the cough hypersensitivity syndrome.

He leads the Experimental Studies Unit at the National Heart & Lung Institute, Imperial College London and the Asthma Consortium of the respiratory biomedical research unit (cBRU) at Royal Brompton.

International work

Professor Chung is one of the co-leaders of the European UBIOPRED Consortium tasked to classify severe asthma and finding new biomarkers. 

He is an Investigator on an MRC-ABPI-funded project investigating the role of inflammation and fibrosis in COPD.

He is engaged in examining the potential lung toxicity of nanoparticles present in the environment and in consumer products in UK-US collaborative projects funded by NERC and NIEHS.

Professor Chung co-leads an ERS/ATS Task Force that has published the first international guidelines on severe asthma.

He has lectured internationally at the major respiratory congresses in Europe, North America and Asia. 

Professor Chung organises the International London Symposium on cough every two years at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, London. The 8th Symposium will be held on 26-28 June 2014.


Memberships and committees

Professor Chung is a senior investigator of the UK National Institute for Health Research, an investigator in the MRC/Asthma UK Centre in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma, and in the MRC-EPA Environment & Health Centre at Imperial/Kings Colleges. 

He is a member of the British Thoracic Society , the European Respiratory Society, the American Thoracic Society and the Asia-Pacific Society for Respirology.


Professor Chung is a member of the editorial boards of the journals Respirology, European Journal of Pharmacology, the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, BMC Pulmonary Medicine and Lancet Respiratory Medicine. He is editor in chief of BMC Cough.

He is the author of 600 publications on respiratory science, diseases and treatments. He has co-edited several books on asthma, COPD and cough, and is author of the Clinician’s Guide to Asthma


Royal Brompton

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London SW3 6NP
Tel: +44 (0)20 7352 8121