Adnan Custovic leads the Paediatric Allergy Group within the Centre for Paediatrics and Child Health at Imperial College London and is Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Allergy at St. Mary’s Hospital and Royal Brompton Hospital. He is Director of the Imperial College London/Imperial College Healthcare Trust Allergy Centre, one of the World Allergy Organization (WAO) Centres of Excellence.
His professional training consisted of 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). Subsequent to completing his clinical specialist training, he obtained the Asthma UK Senior Research Fellowship. He 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, where he served as a Centre Lead for Respiratory Medicine in the Institute of Translational Medicine.
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 and 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.
He pioneered the use of data-driven methodologies in the analysis of complex data, including the first use of machine learning in respiratory medicine/allergy. To gain more from birth cohorts across the UK, he led a multidisciplinary MRC-funded STELAR consortium, combining the world-leading expertise in birth cohorts with statistical machine learning and health informatics. This effort enabled the discovery of latent subtypes of childhood asthma, allergies, and developmental patterns of lung function from pre-school age to early adulthood. He currently leads MRC UNICORN programme which integrates birth cohorts with patient cohorts and randomised controlled trials for joint analyses, offering opportunity for a step change in understanding mechanisms underlying different asthma endotypes.
In 2020, he was elected to the Fellowship of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences. In 2019, he was granted membership of the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ANUBiH). In 2015, he received a highly prestigious European Respiratory Society Gold Medal in Asthma, which is awarded to a researcher who has made an outstanding contribution in the field of asthma research. In 2013 he received the BSACI William Frankland Medal for outstanding contributions to clinical allergy in the UK.
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 British Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology for two terms, and as President of Asthma section of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. He is a member of the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships PRC and the MRC PSMB.
Professor Custovic has supervised 18 PhD/MD students to completion. He has delivered numerous prestigious named lectures. He holds honorary professorships, both home (Manchester) and abroad (Cape Town, Singapore, Zagreb).
Duverdier A, Custovic A, Tanaka R, 2022, Data-driven research on eczema: systematic characterization of the field and recommendations for the future, Clinical and Translational Allergy, ISSN:2045-7022
et al., 2022, Nonlinear effects of environment on childhood asthma susceptibility., Pediatr Allergy Immunol, Vol:33
et al., 2022, Short-chain fatty acid acetate triggers antiviral response mediated by RIG-I in cells from infants with respiratory syncytial virus bronchiolitis., Ebiomedicine, Vol:77
Turner P, Custovic A, 2022, Life-threatening anaphylaxis to peanut – impossible to predict?, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Vol:149, ISSN:0091-6749, Pages:1128-1129