Respiratory medicine (lung)
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Professor Athol Wells trained at Green Lane Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand. He then came to Royal Brompton Hospital in 1989 for his post-graduate studies. 

Areas of expertise

Professor Wells is a consultant physician at the Trust. He specialises in diffuse lung disease. His areas of expertise include:

  • lung fibrosis
  • associated autoimmune disorders
  • idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
  • other lung scarring disorders
  • all forms of sarcoidosis.

Research interests

Professor Wells' research interests include: 

  • prognostic evaluation in diffuse lung disease using HRCT and pulmonary function tests.
  • defining the relationship between structure and function in diffuse lung disease.
  • defining disease types and severity in genetic and laboratory studies
  • studying new therapies in diffuse lung disease.


Professor Wells speaks around the world at major conferences, including the American Thoracic Society and European Respiratory Society. 


Professor Wells chairs the British Thoracic Society group revising diffuse lung disease guidelines. He sits on the American Thoracic Society and European Respiratory Society group revising idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis guidelines.

He also sits on several other joint group defining guidelines for conditions such as:

  • non-specific interstitial pneumonia
  • smoking-related diffuse lung disease
  • acute exacerbations of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis 


Professor Wells is on the advisory board of the: 

  • American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
  • Thorax

He is also principal or co-editor of three books on his specialist interests.

Private patient referral 

If you would like to make an appointment with this specialist for private care, contact the RB&HH Specialist care team

Research Publications

There is little literature about the mortality associated with bronchiectasis. The aim of the present study was to investigate factors affecting mortality in patients with bronchiectasis.

The aim of the present study was to determine whether patients with bronchiectasis and nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) have a higher prevalence of Aspergillus-related lung disease.