Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineNational Heart & Lung Institute

Professor of Sleep & Respiratory Physiology



+44 (0)20 7352 8121 ext 4023m.morrell




Sleep LabSouth BlockRoyal Brompton Campus





Mary Morrell is Professor of Sleep and Respiratory Physiology at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London.

Mary Morrell received her PhD in Physiology from London University, having previously trained and practiced as a Nurse at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington. As a student in the Department of Respiratory Medicine at Charing Cross Hospital she developed an interest in the control of breathing during sleep which continues to drive her research.

Professor Morrell was awarded a Wellcome Trust Prize International Travelling Research Fellowship that allowed her to Post-doc at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Upon her return to the UK, Professor Morrell collaborated with clinical colleagues to set-up the Academic Unit of Sleep and Breathing, at the Royal Brompton Hospital. She has received Career Development and University Fellowships from the Wellcome Trust; funding from the British Heart Foundation and the NIHR.

The aim of her sleep research group is to investigate the causes and consequences of breathing disorders that occur during sleep; translating research into improvements in patient care. Her research focuses on the cardiovascular and neurological consequences of sleep apnoea; particularly in the vulnerable patients with pre existing heart disease, and older people.

Mary is committed to education and is involved in both postgraduate and undergraduate education. She is the Theme Leader for the 1st year MBBS Life Support Systems Course. She has served on the American Thoracic Society Board of Directors as Chair of the Respiratory Neurobiology and Sleep Assembly, is a member of the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine and a Trustee of the Physiological Society.

When not in the lab Mary has also carried out Sleep Research Projects at high altitude and has held a Wellcome Trust Science Arts Grant.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Rosenzweig I, Williams SCR, Morrell MJ, 2014, The impact of sleep and hypoxia on the brain: potential mechanisms for the effects of obstructive sleep apnea, Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine, Vol:20, ISSN:1070-5287, Pages:565-571

McMillan A, Bratton DJ, Faria R, et al., 2014, Continuous positive airway pressure in older people with obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (PREDICT): a 12-month, multicentre, randomised trial, Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Vol:2, ISSN:2213-2600, Pages:804-812

Morrell MJ, Jackson ML, Twigg GL, et al., 2010, Changes in brain morphology in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea, Thorax, Vol:65, ISSN:0040-6376, Pages:908-914

Twigg GL, Papaioannou I, Jackson M, et al., 2010, Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome Is Associated with Deficits in Verbal but Not Visual Memory, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Vol:182, ISSN:1073-449X, Pages:98-103

Goff EA, O'Driscoll DM, Simonds AK, et al., 2008, The cardiovascular response to arousal from sleep decreases with age in healthy adults, Sleep, Vol:31, ISSN:0161-8105, Pages:1009-1017

Morrell MJ, Meadows GE, Hastings P, et al., 2007, The effects of adaptive servo ventilation on cerebral vascular reactivity in patients with congestive heart failure and sleep-disordered breathing, Sleep, Vol:30, ISSN:0161-8105, Pages:648-653

Morrell MJ, McRobbie DW, Quest RA, et al., 2003, Changes in brain morphology associated with obstructive sleep apnea, Sleep Medicine, Vol:4, ISSN:1389-9457, Pages:451-454

More Publications