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 Reader in Respiratory Medicine and Consultant Physician at the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI), Imperial College London & Royal Brompton Hospital (RBH).

He is an International Authority on Aerosol Science and Inhalation Medicine whose research has fundamentally contributed to 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 Research Themes are Inhaled Drug Delivery,  Small Airways Physiology, Lung Imaging, Respiratory Pharmacology and Tele-monitoring / E-health.

He has pioneered novel and sophisticated techniques of assessing inhaled drug delivery, detecting dysfunction of small airways physiology, and characterising airflow heterogeneity using pulmonary imaging, in order to understand structure-function-treatment relationships within the lungs.

His research expertise has led to invitations to deliver Keynote Lectures at prestigious International scientific meetings, and as a key opinion leader to advise on future inhalers and drugs as part of Advisory Board Panels to the Pharmaceutical Industry. He has written State-of-the Art reviews in his field, and was invited as one of three leading experts to be video-interviewed about the future of inhalation medicine by the European Respiratory Society (ERS), the world's largest respiratory society (ERS Vision  - Drug Delivery to the Lungs).


His Clinical Specialist Interests are Asthma, COPD and Chronic Cough. He is Group Leader of the Clinical Research Group within the Airway Disease Section at NHLI and a Principal Investigator. He is part of the Consultant-led RBH specialist Chronic Cough Service.

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 Media publicity; BBCNewsOnline, together with his research into the Treatment and Pharmacology of Cough; BBCNewsOnline. He received the 2005 NHLI Best Thesis Prize NHLI PhD Prize for the Best Thesis submitted and an Alavi-Mandell Award from the American Society of Nuclear Medicine.

KEY 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 was the first time this award category was given to Respiratory Science research in the UK.

In 2015, as Lead Clinical PI, 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.

In Jan 2017, he was awarded as Co-PI and Lead Clinician, a highly competitive grant from the UK Newton Fund to tackle the increasing burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in China through the development of novel inhalable treatments

In Sep 2017, he was awarded a prestigious 4-yr contract by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as Principal Investigator for a $2.3M project entitled 'Patient's perception of dry powder Inhaler devices' in collaboration with the University of Hertfordshire.  

INTERNATIONAL Positions of esteem

In 2017, Dr Usmani was elected to the world's largest respiratory society as ERS Secretary of Assembly 5 - Airway Diseases. He also became Chair of the UK Inhaler Group (UKIG), having taken over the role from Monica Fletcher OBE.

In 2016, he was appointed to lead and chair the second updated version of the International ERS/ISAM Taskforce Consensus Statement on "What the pulmonary physician should know about inhaled therapy".

Dr Usmani holds the following current International positions of esteem;

  • Vice-Chair of Drug Delivery to the Lungs (DDL) since 2010; Europe's premier scientific conference dedicated to pulmonary and nasal drug delivery.
  • European Liaison of the International Society of Aerosols in Medicine (ISAM); he was former Board Member 2013-2017 (maximum two terms) of this International academic organisation dedicated to inhaled drug delivery to the lungs.
  • Board Member of the Aerosol Drug Management Improvement Team (ADMIT) since 2014; expert group of European pulmonologists involved in inhalation medicine.
  • Steering Committee Member of the Small Airways Working Group of the World Allergy Organization (WAO) since 2012; an International organization of Allergology and Clinical Immunology societies from around the world.
  • Associate Editor to the journals Respiration, since 2009 and, to Pulmonary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, since 2016 and, to Breathe, since 2017
  • Editorial Board member of Journal of Aerosol Medicine and Pulmonary Drug Delivery, since 2017 and Journal of the COPD Foundation, since its inception in 2014

teaching & TRAINING 

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, to educate respiratory professionals on inhaler therapy.

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.

Dr Usmani is a committed tutor and mentor and is NHLI Postgraduate Tutor at the RBH Campus, Undergraduate Tutor to Year 1 medical students, Mentor to PhD and MSc students, and member of NHLI's Higher Degree Research Committee. He is currently Research Supervisor to 2 PhD students.


His Public Outreach Activities highlight his passion about inspiring and reaching out to students to consider a career in Science and connecting with schools on STEM activities. He is on the Local Advisory Board of his former School, where he advises on STEM (science, technology, engineering  and medicine) activities.

In 2016, Dr Usmani was invited by the Media to share his research findings with the public on the BBC's Horizon Programme examining whether e-cigarettes were a safe alternative to traditional smoking.

In 2017, he led a team to engage with less advantaged London primary school pupils on STEM activities at Imperial College.



Verbanck S, Biddiscombe MF, Usmani OS, 2020, Inhaled aerosol dose distribution between proximal bronchi and lung periphery, European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Vol:152, ISSN:0939-6411, Pages:18-22

Usmani OS, 2020, Calling Time on Spirometry: Unlocking the Silent Zone in Acute Rejection after Lung Transplantation., Am J Respir Crit Care Med, Vol:201, Pages:1468-1470

Khusial RJ, Honkoop PJ, Usmani O, et al., 2020, Effectiveness of myAirCoach: A mHealth Self-Management System in Asthma., J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract, Vol:8, Pages:1972-1979.e8

Usmani OS, Matthews JC, Wright MD, et al., 2020, No evidence electric charge increases inhaled ultrafine particle deposition in human lungs, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Vol:201, ISSN:1073-449X, Pages:1301-1303

Bonini M, Usmani OS, 2020, Drugs for airway disease, Medicine (united Kingdom), Vol:48, ISSN:1357-3039, Pages:314-322

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