Nicholas Hopkinson is professor of respiratory medicine at Imperial College and an honorary consultant physician at Royal Brompton Hospital. He qualified in medicine at Cambridge University and the London Hospital Medical College and went on to train in respiratory and general internal medicine at St George’s Hospital and St Thomas’ Hospital.

Areas of expertise

Professor Hopkinson is clinical lead for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) at Royal Brompton Hospital. This includes systematic evaluation of patients within a multidisciplinary team and addressing issues such as:

  • Hypoxia 
  • recurrent exacerbations
  • alpha one antitrypsin deficiency
  • early onset disease. 

Research interests

His major research interest looks at the causes of exercise limitation in patients with COPD, and his publications have looked at the:

  • effect of pulmonary rehabilitation 
  • influence of genetic polymorphisms
  • the effect of dietary nitrate supplementation
  • lung volume reduction techniques for emphysema
  • Singing for lung health as an approach to relieve breathlessness in COPD and other conditions.

Working with the NW London Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research (CLAHRC), Professor Hopkinson has developed a more systematic Care Bundle for COPD patients as they are discharged. He has published work on tobacco uptake among children and in support of tobacco control measures, such as standardised packaging and smoke-free legislation.

Professor Hopkinson’s work has been funded by the:

  • NIHR
  • Medical Research Council
  • Wellcome Trust
  • European Union
  • British Lung Foundation
  • Moulton Foundation.

He is active in tobacco control advocacy and is chair of Action on Smoking and Health ASH(UK).


Professor Hopkinson has served on the Council of the British Thoracic Society, and chaired its Specialist Advisory Group on COPD, as well as serving on its Science and Research Committee. 

He is also a member of the European Respiratory Society and a fellow of The Royal College of Physicians.

In December 2018, he was appointed as medical director of the Asthma + Lung UKRead more about his appointment

Also see Professor Hopkinson's profile at the National Heart and Lung Institute - including a list of his publications

You can follow Professor Hopkinson on Twitter: @COPDdoc