Adnan Custovic is Clinical Professor of Paediatric Allergy at Imperial College London. His professional training consisted of a Specialist training in Paediatrics (University Children’s Hospital Sarajevo, 1987-91) and successive appointments as Clinical Research Fellow and Specialist Registrar in Allergy (University Hospital of South Manchester, 1992-98). This period saw him awarded M.Sc. (1991), M.D. with Gold Medal (1996) and Ph.D. (2000). Dr Custovic was promoted to a position of Reader at the University of Manchester in 2000, which was followed by a professorship in 2002. He was a Professor of Allergy at the University of Manchester until September 2015, when he moved to Imperial College.
In 2015 he was awarded a highly prestigious European Respiratory Society Gold Medal for research in asthma. In 2013 he received the BSACI William Frankland Medal for outstanding contributions to clinical allergy in the UK, and the CIPP President’s award for the distinguished achievements in childhood asthma. He delivered numerous prestigious keynote/named lectures, including Ann Woolcock lecture (2016), Noon/Freeman Honorary Lecture (IX World Asthma, Allergy and COPD Forum, 2016), Nemacolin Asthma Conference keynote lecture (2014), Alain De Weck Memorial Lecture (VI World Asthma and COPD Forum, 2013), Cas Motala Memorial Lecture (South African Allergy Society, 2013), James Hutchison's Memorial Lecture (Hong Kong Paediatric Society, 2012), the RSM Priscilla Piper Lecture (2011) and Caspar Weinberg Lecture (2007).
He serves as the Associate Editor of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, and on the International Advisory Board of the Lancet Child and Adolescent Health. He has served as a Secretary of the BSACI for two terms, and as President of Asthma section of the EAACI. He had numerous official roles in the World Allergy Organisation, RCP and Asthma UK.
Prof Custovic has worked tirelessly to build the scientific basis of clinical allergy. His research has focused upon the origins and natural history of asthma and allergy across the life-course, with an emphasis on prevention and translation for patient benefit. His research findings are of great practical significance, and have informed and changed national and international guidelines on asthma prevention/management. His studies in food allergy substantially impacted clinical practice. His discovery that IgE-response to peanut allergen Ara h 2 is much more predictive of true peanut allergy than standard tests using whole allergen extract marked the start of the component-resolved diagnostics as the new gold standard in clinical practice.
His current research programme combines world-leading expertise in birth cohorts and statistical machine learning, and capitalises on the recent developments within the field of computer sciences to provide powerful new tools that are well suited to the challenge of integration of different scales of data (from molecular-level to population-level), and different levels of directness of measurement of factors. To gain more from birth cohorts across the UK, he assembled a multidisciplinary MRC-funded STELAR consortium, which combines world-leading expertise in birth cohorts, statistical machine learning (Microsoft Research) and health informatics (Farr@HeRC). To facilitate the interdisciplinary dialogue and collaborative “Team science”, he led the development of Asthma e-Lab (a secure web-based research environment to support consistent recording, description and sharing of data, computational/statistical methods and emerging findings across the five birth cohorts). This effort enabled the discovery of latent subtypes of childhood asthma/allergies and developmental patterns of lung function, and helped identify phenotype-specific genetic risk factors and gene-environment correlations.
He has supervised 17 PhD/MD students to completion.
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