Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Battcock Chair in Community Health and Policy



+44 (0)20 7594 8098 ext 48098frank.kelly Website




Building E - Sir Michael UrenWhite City Campus





Professor Frank Kelly, PhD, FKC, FRSB, FRSC, FMedSci, holds the inaugural Humphrey Battcock Chair in Community Health and  Policy, within the School of Public Health in a new global centre of air pollution research. He previously served as Chair of Environmental Health at King's College London, where he was Director of the Environmental Research Group, Director of the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Health Impact of Environmental Hazards and Deputy Director of the MRC Centre for Environment & Health. 

The substantial research activity, over which he presides, spans all aspects of air pollution research from toxicology through to science policy. The experimental research examines the toxicity of airborne particulate matter, diesel and biodiesel exhaust emissions, wood smoke and identifies of biomarkers of exposure. A new area of investigation is ambient microplastics, where work is focusing on their identification, detection and potential health effects. He has led studies on the urban airshed within London, including the impact of the introduction of London’s Congestion Charging Zone and the Ultra Low Emission Zone. During his leadership at King’s, the London Air Quality Network developed into a first class dissemination and education resource for London residents.

Professor Kelly has published over 380 peer-reviewed papers as well as many conference papers and books (as author or editor) on the toxicology and health effects of ozone, nitrogen dioxide and particulate pollution. He provides policy support to the World Health Organisation on air pollution issues and is a member of the Health Effects Institute (HEI) Review Committee.  He is past Chairman of COMEAP, the UK’s Department of Health’s Expert Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants, past President of the European Society for Free Radical Research and past Chairman of the British Association for Lung Research.

EA Contact: Laura Ruane

Link to main HPRU Website:

Leadership Roles:

Battcock Chair of Community Health and Policy, Imperial College London

Director, Environmental Research Group, King's College London

Director, NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Environmental Exposures and Health

Deputy Director, MRC Centre for Environment and Health

PLuS Alliance Fellow Arizona State University, USA

PLuS Alliance Fellow UNSW, Sydney, Australia

Previous Leadership Roles:

Professor of Environmental Health, King's College London

Director, Department of Analytical, Environmental & Forensic Sciences, King's College London

Key Research Interests:

Oxidant/antioxidant imbalances in patient groups, preterm babies, asthmatics, cystic fibrosis and lung transplant patients

Mechanisms of underlying air pollution related health issues

Development of model system to access oxidative potential of ambient particulate matter

Impact of London's Congestion Charging Zone and Low Emission Zone

Biomarkets of exposure in toxicity of PM associated metals and quinones, disel and biodiesel exhaust emissions, wood smoke

Ambient microplastics

Key Research Projects:

Exposure to particulate matter on the London Underground in healthy subjects and patients with chronic respiratory disease. Funding - MRC 2019-2021

Investigating the impact of London's Ultra Low Emission Zone on Children's respiratory health. Funding - NIHR 2018-2023

Identifying the mechanisms for the effects of air pollution on cardiopulmonary disease in Beijing, China. Funding - NERC 2019-2021

Using metabolomics to investigate the metabolic signatures and associated pathways linked to short-term exposure to air pollutants. Funding - MRC 2019-2022

Assessing the impact of the Mayor's schools air quality audit, recommendations in reducing pupils' exposure to poor air quality - feasibility and base line data collection. Funding - NIHR 2018-2019

Pathways to Equitable Health Cities (London Hub for Urband Health). Funding - Wellcome Trust 2018-2022

London Substantive Site for HDR UK. Funding - HDR-UK 2018-2023

Health1UP2 - Differentiated health impacts of primary and secondary ultra fine particles. Funding - EC European Commission 2017-2019

Advanced UK Observing Network for Air Quality, Public Health and Greenhouse Gas Research. Funding - NERC 2017-2022

Effects of air pollution on cardiopulmonary disease in urban and per-urban residents. Funding - NERC 2016-2019

New Methods for Quantifying Sources of Black Carbon. Funding - NPL Management Ltd 2014-2018

COPE: Characterisation of COPD Exacerbation using Environmental Exposure Modelling. Funding - MRC 2014-2018

Health Impact of Environmental Hazards. Funding - NIHR 2014-2020

Improving communication with the public about antivirals and vaccination during the next pandemic. Funding - Department of Health 2013-2015

Life Study: core scientific leadership and management team. Funding - Economic and Social Research Council 2013-2016

MRC-NIHR National Phenome Centre. Funding - MRC 2012-2018

Teaching and Supervision:

Lectures on Intercalated Biochemistry course (Free Radical Biochemistry), Intercalated Physiology course (Respiration).

Seminars to Postgraduate School and King's Histopathology MSc course.

Biochemistry and Physiology tutorials for 1st year Medical students.

Coordination of the Social Impact of Biosciences course for 2nd and 3rd year students.

Supervision to intercalated medical students.

Hosted a number of Wellcome Trust and Nuffield funded students in lab work.

Provision of places in the department for sandwich students from Universities.

Hosting American students visiting as Fogarty International Fellows, and Bristish Council Fellows from Austria and Poland.

Lectures on Oxidative stress in diseases of respiratory and cardiovascular systems on Nutritional Medicine MSc course in Surrey.

Lectures on Air Pollution for MSc Toxicology course.

Guest lectures on Free Radical/Antioxidant Biochemistry at University of Southampton and Leicester.

PhD Examiner for University of London

External Examiner for University of Sheffield, Southampton, Aberdeen, Keele, Cork and Upsalla.

External Examiner for BSc in Faculty of Medicine at University of Leicester.

External Examiner for Respiratory BSc at Imperial College for 5 years.

Current Postgraduate PhD Supervision:

Al-Sulaiti, A Panel Study on the Health Impacts of Indoor Air Quality

Boeifot, K Characterization of the bioaerosol background in different environments and its impact on biological detection, identification, monitoring and attribution.

Previous Postgraduate PhD Supervision:

Ardiyani, V Effects of Benzo(a)pyrene released by Forest Fires on Pregnant Women and their offspring in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia

Bassey, E Investigating the effects of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPS) on respiratory health: A comparative study of population at risk of exposure of air pollution from the gas flaring and solid cooking fuels

Levermore, J The potential for microplastics to impact human health

Pribadi, A Analysis of coal dust exposure in Indonesia

Zhang, H The association between air pollutant mass/chemical composition (for PM.5 only) and human health, using ambient and personal exposure, and if possible also indoor exposure

Camina Garcia, N Quantifying the toxicological potential of photochemical aged ambient particulate matter. Study aims: The aim of this project is the quantification of the toxicological potential of photochemical aged ambient particulate matter (PM)

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Tayal U, 2022, Exposure to elevated nitrogen dioxide concentrations and cardiac remodelling in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy, Journal of Cardiac Failure, Vol:28, ISSN:1071-9164, Pages:924-934

Griffiths SD, Entwistle JA, Kelly FJ, et al., 2022, Characterising the ground level concentrations of harmful organic and inorganic substances released during major industrial fires, and implications for human health, Environment International, Vol:162, ISSN:0160-4120

Han Y, Xue T, Kelly FJ, et al., 2022, Association of PM<sub>2.5</sub> Reduction with Improved Kidney Function: A Nationwide Quasiexperiment among Chinese Adults, Health Data Science, Vol:2022, Pages:1-9

Green D, 2022, Source attribution and quantification of atmospheric nickel concentrations in an industrial area in the United Kingdom (UK), Environmental Pollution, Vol:293, ISSN:0269-7491, Pages:1-10

Kelly FJ, 2022, COP26-time for action, Air Quality Atmosphere and Health, Vol:14, ISSN:1873-9318, Pages:1891-1891

Nematollahi MJ, Zarei F, Keshavarzi B, et al., 2021, Microplastic occurrence in settled indoor dust in schools, Science of the Total Environment, Vol:807, ISSN:0048-9697

Batool I, Qadir A, Levermore JM, et al., 2021, Dynamics of airborne microplastics, appraisal and distributional behaviour in atmosphere; a review, Science of the Total Environment, Vol:806, ISSN:0048-9697

Lai A, Lee M, Carter E, et al., 2021, A chemical investigation of household solid fuel use and outdoor air pollution contributions to personal PM2.5 exposures, Environmental Science & Technology, Vol:55, ISSN:0013-936X, Pages:15969-15979

Abbasi S, Keshavarzi B, Moore F, et al., 2020, Elemental and magnetic analyses, source identification, and oxidative potential of airborne, passive, and street dust particles in Asaluyeh County, Iran, Science of the Total Environment, Vol:707, ISSN:0048-9697, Pages:1-16

Wright SL, Ulke J, Font A, et al., 2020, Atmospheric microplastic deposition in an urban environment and an evaluation of transport, Environment International, Vol:136, ISSN:0160-4120, Pages:105411-105411

Rivas I, Beddows DCS, Amato F, et al., 2020, Source apportionment of particle number size distribution in urban background and traffic stations in four European cities, Environment International, Vol:135, ISSN:0160-4120, Pages:105345-105345

Smith RB, Beevers SD, Gulliver J, et al., 2020, Impacts of air pollution and noise on risk of preterm birth and stillbirth in London, Environment International, Vol:134, ISSN:0160-4120

Carter E, Yan L, Fu Y, et al., 2020, Household transitions to clean energy in a multi-provincial cohort study in China, Nature Sustainability, Vol:3, ISSN:2398-9629, Pages:42-50

Smith JD, Barratt BM, Fuller GW, et al., 2020, PM2.5 on the London Underground, Environment International, Vol:134, ISSN:0160-4120, Pages:105188-105188

Meng Y, Kelly FJ, Wright SL, 2020, Advances and challenges of microplastic pollution in freshwater ecosystems: A UK perspective, Environmental Pollution, Vol:256, ISSN:0269-7491, Pages:113445-113445

Preston GW, Dagnino S, Ponzi E, et al., 2020, Relationships between airborne pollutants, serum albumin adducts and short-term health outcomes in an experimental crossover study, Chemosphere, Vol:239, ISSN:1879-1298

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