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Professor Stephen DurhamĀ 

Professor Stephen Durham
Clinical lead for allergy services

Head of allergy and clinical immunology,
National Heart and Lung Institute,
Imperial College London


Background and training

Professor Stephen Durham trained at Downing College Cambridge and Guy’s Hospital London and had hospital posts in general and respiratory medicine and allergy in Cambridge, London and Oxford.  

He became a consultant to Royal Brompton Hospital in 1988 and has been professor of allergy and respiratory medicine since 1999.


Professor Durham has been the clinical lead for allergy services at Royal Brompton Hospital for 20 years. He is dedicated to providing a high quality tertiary and regional allergy service and, with Mr Hesham Saleh, a specialist combined medical / surgical nose clinic. Professor Durham is leading a cutting-edge research group with the highest citation rate for allergy in Europe – around 800 to 1000 citations annually.

Areas of expertise 

Professor Durham's areas of expertise include:

  • Allergic rhinitis 
  • severe asthma 
  • immunotherapy (allergen desensitisation) 
  • anaphylaxis 
  • drug and food allergies 
  • chronic urticaria and angioedema 
  • nasal polyposis 
  • upper airway manifestations of systemic disease (such as sarcoidosis or Wegener’s).

Research interests and funding

Professor Durham is head of the allergy and clinical immunology section within the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI), a division of Imperial College London.


His research interests include:

  • mechanisms of immune tolerance in allergy (including immunotherapy)
  • mechanisms and treatment of allergic rhinitis and severe asthma
  • regulation of IgE production.


Professor Durham has published over 240 papers on immunology, asthma and rhinitis. He currently receives research funding from various organisations including the Medical Research Council (MRC), Immune Tolerance Network (National Institutes of Health) and Asthma UK.

Professional background

Professor Durham trained at Downing College Cambridge and Guy’s Hospital London. After hospital posts in general and respiratory medicine and allergy in Cambridge, London and Oxford, he became a consultant to Royal Brompton Hospital in 1988. He has been professor of allergy and respiratory medicine since 1999.

Lectures and teaching

Professor Durham frequently speaks at numerous national and international society meetings including the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and ImmunologyEuropean Academy of Allergology and Clinical ImmunologyWorld Allergy OrganisationAmerican College  of Allergy, Asthma and ImmunologyCollegium Internationale Allergologicum and the British Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.


His named lectureships include the Dr John Salvaggio Lectureship (2003) and Dr Harold Nelson Lectureship (2006) at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and the John P McGovern Medal and Lectureship at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (2006).


Professor Durham has, for the last five years, organised the prestigious and highly popular basic clinical allergy course, held annually at the NHLI's Royal Brompton campus and hosts many postgraduate short courses for GPs, allergists, immunologists and respiratory physicians.


He hosts many visiting overseas doctors to the allergy clinic, and teaches on a number of medical courses. He teaches on the University of London MSc in medical immunology, and hosts a module at Imperial College London for the BSc in respiratory medicine. Within this capacity, he has supervised numerous students for their MD and PhD degrees.

Committees and official bodies

Professor Durham is current president of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI), and was the first to receive both the William Frankland Medal for outstanding services to clinical allergy (2004) and the Jack Pepys Lectureship (2005) from the BSACI. 

He is a member of the National Allergy Strategy Group, the Medical Research Council College of Experts UK and the Steering Committee of the NIH Immune Tolerance Network, USA. 

He gave evidence to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee on Allergy Services (2007) and was a member of the strategy group for developing the Department of Health National Occupational Standards for Allergy (2007-8).

Journals and publications

Professor Durham is or has been on the advisory / editorial board of all major international specialist allergy journals.


He has edited three books, including the prestigious British Medical Journal  series, ABC of Allergies, which has sold more than 30,000 copies.