Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineNational Heart & Lung Institute

Reader in Respiratory Medicine



+44 (0)20 7351 8051o.usmani




Asthma LabSouth BlockRoyal Brompton Campus





Omar Usmani MB BS, PhD, FHEA, FRCP, is Clinical Senior Lecturer and Consultant Physician in Respiratory Medicine at the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI), Imperial College London & Royal Brompton Hospital (RBH).

He is an international authority on aerosol science whose research has fundamentally changed the understanding of therapeutic aerosol deposition and clinical effectiveness in inhaled drug delivery to the lungs. In 2015, he was awarded one of the highest accolades in aerosol science, the Thomas T Mercer Award from the American Association of Aerosol Research (AAAR) and the International Society of Aerosols in Medicine (ISAM), recognising his international research excellence in pharmaceutical aerosols and inhalable materials.

His Clinical Specialist Interests are Asthma, COPD and Chronic Cough. His Research Themes are Inhaled Drug Delivery, Lung Imaging, Small Airways Physiology, Respiratory Pharmacology and tele-monitoring / e-health.

He is Group Leader of the Clinical Research Group within the Airway Disease Section at NHLI and a Principal Investigator. He is Clinical Lead for the RBH specialist Chronic Cough Service.

Dr Usmani expertise in airways physiology, inhalation medicine, respiratory drugs and cough has led to invitations to lecture at keynote international scientific meetings and invitations to be part of Advisory Board Panels from the Pharmaceutical Industry to advise on their future inhalers and drugs. He is currently clinical advisor to a group of ICL medical students that have developed a smoking cessation app incorporating gamification

Early career

Dr Usmani qualified in Medicine at King's College London and has dual Specialist Certification in Respiratory and General Internal Medicine. He underwent his Speciality Training at the London Teaching Hospitals of St Thomas', Guy's and, King's College.

During his clinical training he undertook a PhD at Imperial College London, through which his research into Medical Inhalers and Aerosol Science achieved wide publicity; BBCNewsOnline, together with his research into the Treatment and Pharmacology of Cough; BBCNewsOnline. He received the 2005 NHLI PhD Prize for the Best Thesis submitted and an Alavi-Mandell Award from the American Society of Nuclear Medicine.

research awards

In 2012, Dr Usmani was awarded a UK - National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Career Development Fellowship to investigate the lung deposition behaviour of inhaled bronchodilator aerosols of different particle size within the airways of patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). This is the first time this award category was given to Respiratory Science research in the UK. 

In 2015 he was part of a team awarded a highly prestigious EU HORIZON 2020 grant, myaircoach,  to investigate the role of tele-monitoring and e-health in asthma self-management, where the proposal was ranked 4th highest of all 256 submissions to the call.

Positions of esteem

Dr Usmani holds the following international positions;

  • Vice-Chair of Drug Delivery to the Lungs (DDL), Europe's premier scientific conference dedicated to pulmonary and nasal drug delivery.
  • Board Member of the International Society of Aerosols in Medicine (ISAM).
  • Board Member of the Aerosol Drug Management Improvement Team (ADMIT), expert group of European pulmonologists involved in inhalation medicine.
  • Steering Committee Member of the Small Airways Working Group of the World Allergy Organization (WAO).
  • Member of the Long Range Planning Committee Airway Disease Section 5 of the European Respiratory Society (ERS), the world’s leading respiratory society.
  • Associate Editor to the journals Respiration and Cough.

Training and teaching


Dr Usmani is a keen educator, teaching and training the next generation of future scientists and doctors. He himself completed CASLAT (Certificate of Advanced Study in Learning and Teaching) awarded by Imperial College London in 2010 and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). As an expert on medical inhalers he was involved in an online CME programme produced by the ERS, the world’s leading respiratory society.

Dr Usmani is the Clinical Lead for NHLI’s Clinical Research Fellow's Initiative (CRFI) that he established, which aims to attract, encourage and support clinical trainees interested in undertaking postgraduate research. He was also the Academic Advisor to the North-West London Respiratory Specialist Training Committee (STC) for 5 years.  

He is currently Imperial College’s contact for Medical Students wanting to undertake Research Electives in Respiratory Medicine. He is passionate about reaching out and connecting with schools on STEM activities



Braido F, Scichilone N, Lavorini F, et al., Manifesto on small airway involvement and management in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: an Interasma (Global Asthma Association - GAA) and World Allergy Organization (WAO) document - endorsed by Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact of Asthma (ARIA) and GlobalAllergy and Asthma European Network (GA2LEN), Asthma Research and Practice, ISSN:2054-7064

Bonini M, Usmani OS, 2016, Drugs for airway disease, Medicine (united Kingdom), Vol:44, ISSN:1357-3039, Pages:271-280

Darquenne C, Fleming JS, Katz I, et al., 2016, Bridging the Gap Between Science and Clinical Efficacy: Physiology, Imaging, and Modeling of Aerosols in the Lung, Journal of Aerosol Medicine and Pulmonary Drug Delivery, Vol:29, ISSN:1941-2711, Pages:107-126

Dekhuijzen PNR, Lavorini F, Usmani OS, 2016, Patients' perspectives and preferences in the choice of inhalers: the case for Respimat (R) or HandiHaler (R), Patient Preference and Adherence, Vol:10, ISSN:1177-889X, Pages:1561-1572

Kikidis D, Konstantinos V, Tzovaras D, et al., 2016, The Digital Asthma Patient: The History and Future of Inhaler Based Health Monitoring Devices, Journal of Aerosol Medicine and Pulmonary Drug Delivery, Vol:29, ISSN:1941-2711, Pages:219-232

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