Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineNational Heart & Lung Institute

Professor of Respiratory Cell Biology



+44 (0)20 7594 7895l.donnelly




419Guy Scadding BuildingRoyal Brompton Campus





Louise Donnelly is Professor of Respiratory Cell Biology, within the Section of Airway Disease at the NHLI. She obtained her BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Bath and subsequently a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Cardiff. This was followed by a post-doctoral position in cell signaling at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School (now part of Imperial College London) prior to working at the NHLI.

Since 1995, Professor Donnelly has worked in the field of respiratory cell biology with a particular interest in the cellular profile in inflammatory lung diseases including asthma and COPD. Her research has focussed upon how inflammatory cells are altered in the disease state and the investigation of novel therapeutic strategies. To this end, she has established a number of human primary cell systems to investigate mechanisms of aberrant inflammation. She has published extensively and has presented both nationally and internationally and is an associate editor for the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, Thorax, Respiratory Research and Experimental Lung Research.

Professor Donnelly is currently Director of the Respiratory Science BSc and is involved in respiratory teaching on  the undergraduate MBSS course. In 2009, Professor Donnelly received a Rector's Award for Research Supervision and in 2012 a Rector's Award for Pastoral Care. Since September 2020, she is the Director of Education (Taught) for the NHLI.

Professor Donnelly has been a member of the British Association of Lung Research (BALR) committee for several years and is a past chair of the BALR.  She has served on the British Lung Foundation Scientific Committee and is the current European Respiratory Society Fellowship and Awards Director.



Cass SP, Nicolau DV, Baker JR, et al., 2024, Coordinated nasal mucosa-mediated immunity accelerates recovery from COVID-19., Erj Open Res, Vol:10, ISSN:2312-0541

Wrench CL, Baker JR, Monkley S, et al., 2024, Small airway fibroblasts from patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exhibit cellular senescence., Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol, Vol:326, Pages:L266-L279

Ho V, Baker J, Willison K, et al., 2023, Single cell quantification of microRNA from small numbers of non-invasively sampled primary human cells, Communications Biology, Vol:6, ISSN:2399-3642, Pages:1-11

Ombredane HCJ, Fenwick PS, Barnes PJ, et al., 2023, Temporal Release of IL-1 Family Members from Virally Infected Airway Epithelial Cells Suggests IL-36γ Is the Early Responder, American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, Vol:68, ISSN:1044-1549, Pages:339-341

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