Imperial College London

Professor Omar Usmani

Faculty of MedicineNational Heart & Lung Institute

Professor of Respiratory Medicine



+44 (0)20 7351 8051o.usmani




Asthma LabSouth BlockRoyal Brompton Campus





Omar Usmani MB BS, PhD, FHEA, FRCP, FERS, is Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI), Imperial College London & Consultant Physician at the Royal Brompton Hospital (RBH) and St Mary's Hospital London. He is Clinical Director of Respiratory Trials at ICRRU (Imperial College Respiratory Research Unit).  

His Clinical Specialist areas 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. His Research Themes are Inhaled Drug Delivery, Small Airways Physiology, Lung Imaging, Respiratory Pharmacology and Tele-monitoring / E-health.

Professor Usmani 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. He is Co-Director of Imperial's Network of Excellence in Aerosols and Health established in 2021. 

In 2015, Professor Usmani 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. He first attended ISAM in 2001 to present his initial findings from his doctoral thesis and 20 years later, in 2021, he was elected by ISAM members to the position President-elect of ISAM.

In 2019, Professor Usmani was awarded Fellow of the European Respiratory Society (FERS). In 2017 he became Secretary of Assembly 5 and in 2020, he was voted by the ERS Assembly 5 members as Head of Assembly 5 (Airway Diseases - Asthma, COPD, Chronic Cough). In 2022, he was a recipient of a prestigious ERS Teaching Award, in recognition of his dedicated contributions to ERS educational content development. Professor Usmani is currently a committee member of the ERS HERMES examination committee in adult respiratory medicine.

As Chair of the UK Inhaler Group (UKIG), working with Asthma UK, he oversaw the production of a series of validated videos on inhaler technique and he represents UKIG on the Medicines Optimisation Working Group, part of the Taskforce on Lung Health. He was Chair of the Guidelines Working Party that developed the Inhaler Choice Guideline for UK healthcare professionals in 2017, which was updated in 2020.  

Professor Usmani was appointed Co-Deputy Director of Imperial's MBBS Phase programme in 2021, is the Head of Phase 1c (Year 3) and Clinical Module Lead of CSI (Clinical Scientific Integration), a flagship Module in Imperial's new MBBS curriculum. He is an external examiner to the University of Southampton MBBS programme. 

Since 2014, Professor Usmani has organised Outreach Events as part of Imperial's widening participation programme to London secondary and primary school pupils on STEM activities at Imperial College.


Professor 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.


Professor Usmani 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. He has written State-of-the Art reviews in his field, and presented his views as a leading expert about the future of inhalation medicine on ERS Vision. He advises on the future of inhalers and respiratory drugs on Advisory Board Panels to the Pharmaceutical Industry. 


In 2012, Professor 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 5-year 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.


Professor Usmani holds the following current International positions of esteem;

- Head of ERS Assembly 5 - Airway Diseases since 2020 and former Secretary of Assembly 5 - Airway Diseases 2017-2020

- Chair of the UK Inhaler Group (UKIG) since 2017, having taken over the role from Monica Fletcher OBE

- 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 Officer of the International Society of Aerosols in Medicine (ISAM); 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.

- 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

He was a Steering Committee Member of the Small Airways Working Group of the World Allergy Organization (WAO) between 2012 - 2015; an International organization of Allergology and Clinical Immunology societies from around the world.

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".


Professor 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.

Professor Usmani was the Academic Advisor to the North-West London Respiratory Specialist Training Committee (STC) between 2009-2012. He was also Clinical Lead of NHLI’s Clinical Research Fellow's Initiative (CRFI) that he established aiming to attract, encourage and support clinical trainees interested in undertaking postgraduate research. He is currently Imperial College’s contact for Medical Students wanting to undertake Research Electives in Respiratory Medicine.

Professor 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 (HDRC). He is currently Research Supervisor to two PhD students.


His Public Outreach Activities highlight his passion about inspiring and reaching out to students to consider a career in Science. He is on the Local Advisory Board of his former School, where he advises on STEM (science, technology, engineering  and medicine) activities. Since 2014, he has organised outreach events to less advantaged London secondary and primary school pupils on STEM activities at Imperial College.


Professor Usmani has appeared in the television Media to share his research findings with the public on the BBC's Horizon Programme in 2016 examining whether e-cigarettes were a safe alternative to traditional smoking. He appeared on the BBC's consumer review programme 'Fake Britain' in 2019 to highlight concerns about counterfeit nebulisers and their impact on patient care.



King GG, Chung LP, Usmani OS, et al., 2024, Improving asthma outcomes: Clinicians' perspectives on peripheral airways., J Allergy Clin Immunol Glob, Vol:3

Capstick TGD, Gudimetla S, Harris DS, et al., 2024, Demystifying Dry Powder Inhaler Resistance with Relevance to Optimal Patient Care., Clin Drug Investig, Vol:44, Pages:109-114

Papi A, Qasuri M, Chung E, et al., 2023, Fixed-dose combination fluticasone/formoterol for asthma treatment in a real-world setting: meta-analysis of exacerbation rates and asthma control, European Clinical Respiratory Journal, Vol:10, ISSN:2001-8525

Lavorini F, Usmani OS, Salvi S, et al., 2023, A narrative review on the Synchrobreathe™: A novel breath-actuated pressurised metered-dose inhaler for the treatment of obstructive airway diseases, Respiratory Medicine, Vol:219, ISSN:0954-6111

Sousa-Pinto B, Louis R, Anto JM, et al., 2023, Adherence to inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting β2-agonists in asthma: A MASK-air study., Pulmonology

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