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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

  • emphysema

  • the diagnosis and treatment of troublesome cough. 



Professor Chung's 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.

His current interests are focused on the:

  • role of smooth airway muscles
  • effects of oxidant stress on muscle function
  • mechanisms underlying corticosteroid resistance
  • 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 (BRU) at Royal Brompton Hospital.


Professor Chung is also a senior investigator for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

International work


Professor Chung is one of the co-leaders of the European UBIOPRED Consortium tasked with classifying 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-led an ERS/ATS Task Force that has published the first international guidelines on severe asthma. He is a co-leader of EU-funded project, MyAirCoach, which is a novel mobile-health management system based on a wireless body sensor network that is part of a comprehensive approach to managing and supporting asthma patients.

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 9th Symposium was held on 29 to 30 June/1 July 2016.


Memberships and committees


Professor Chung is 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

  • the Asia-Pacific Society for Respirology.



Professor Chung is a member of the editorial boards of the journals Respirology, European Journal of Pharmacology, European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, BMC Pulmonary Medicine, Pulmonary Pharmacology Therapeutics, Journal of Thoracic Disease and Lancet Respiratory Medicine

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