Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineNational Heart & Lung Institute

Clinical Chair in Paediatric Allergy



a.custovic CV




220Medical SchoolSt Mary's Campus





Adnan Custovic is 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 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 is a member of the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships PRC and the MRC PSMB. He has delivered numerous prestigious named lectures. He holds honorary professorships, both home (Manchester) and abroad (Cape Town, Singapore, Zagreb).

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.

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 assembled a multidisciplinary MRC-funded STELAR consortium, combining the world-leading expertise in birth cohorts with statistical machine learning and health informatics. To facilitate the interdisciplinary dialogue and collaborative “Team science”, he led the development of Asthma e-Lab (a web-based research environment to support recording, description and sharing of data, computational/statistical methods and findings across the five birth cohorts). This effort enabled the discovery of latent subtypes of childhood allergic diseases. His recent work using machine learning described developmental patterns of lung function from pre-school age to early adulthood, and different immunophenotypes of anti-virus responses which were differentially linked to disease protection, early-onset troublesome asthma and late-onset mild allergic asthma. These findings have major implications for our understanding of the pathogenesis of respiratory disease throughout life. He leads MRC UNICORN programme which integrates birth cohorts with patient cohorts and RCTs for joint analyses, offering opportunity for a step change in understanding mechanisms underlying different asthma endotypes.

He has supervised 17 PhD/MD students to completion.



Holguin F, Cardet JC, Chung KF, et al., 2020, Management of severe asthma: a European Respiratory Society/American Thoracic Society Guideline, European Respiratory Journal, Vol:55, ISSN:0903-1936

Thyssen JP, Ahluwalia TS, Paternoster L, et al., 2019, Interaction between filaggrin mutations and neonatal cat exposure in atopic dermatitis., Allergy

Deliu M, Fontanella S, Haider S, et al., 2019, Longitudinal trajectories of severe wheeze exacerbations from infancy to school age and their association with early-life risk factors and late asthma outcomes., Clin Exp Allergy

Clark H, Granell R, Curtin JA, et al., 2019, Differential associations of allergic disease genetic variants with developmental profiles of eczema, wheeze and rhinitis, Clinical and Experimental Allergy, Vol:49, ISSN:0954-7894, Pages:1475-1486

Simpson A, Brough HA, Haider S, et al., 2019, Early-life inhalant allergen exposure, filaggrin genotype and the development of sensitization from infancy to adolescence, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, ISSN:0091-6749

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