Imperial College London

Dr Richard J Hewitt

Faculty of MedicineNational Heart & Lung Institute

Academic Clinical Lecturer



+44 (0)7731 574 288richard.hewitt




Desk 24Sir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Richard is an Academic Clinical Lecturer in the National Heart and Lung Institute. He also works as a Specialty Trainee in Respiratory Medicine within Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, and is an honorary research fellow at the Royal Brompton Hospital.

His research focuses on the airway epithelium and cell-matrix interactions in pulmonary fibrosis and healthy ageing. He uses cell culture approaches, single-cell transcriptomics, proteomics and advanced imaging techniques in his research.

Richard qualified from Imperial College Medical School in 2011 with distinctions in clinical science and clinical practice. He completed an intercalated BSc in Respiratory Science in 2009 achieving first class honours. For his BSc project he investigated genetic susceptibility to acute lung injury after cardiopulmonary bypass which cultivated a strong interest in medical research. He presented his findings at the British Thoracic Society Winter Meeting and won the Royal Society of Medicine 'Young Respiratory Investigator' national student prize in 2009. 

He completed his Foundation and Core Medical Training in North West London, achieving MRCP(UK) in 2014. In conjunction with his postgraduate medical training he has pursued clinical research projects and published journal articles on a range of topics.

To gain protected time to pursue scientific research during his clinical training, Richard was appointed to a competitive NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship post in Respiratory Medicine at Imperial College in 2015. He completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Genomics Medicine at Imperial College 2016/17.

In 2017 he was awarded an Imperial College Clinician- Investigator Scholarship to undertake a PhD supervised by Professor Clare Lloyd, Professor Toby Maher and Dr Adam Byrne in the NHLI's Inflammation, Repair and Development (IRD) Section. For this research he performed bronchoscopies to collect samples from patients and healthy volunteers at the Royal Brompton Hospital. He performed bulk and single-cell RNA-sequencing on airway samples working with Professor Anne O'Garra at the Francis Crick Institute. His PhD entitled "Interactions between airway epithelial cells and the microenvironment in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis" was awarded in January 2022. 

Richard continues his programme of research based in the Lloyd lab and is a Visiting Scientist at the Francis Crick Institute where he works closely with Professor Anne O'Garra. 

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Vijayakumar B, Boustani K, Ogger P, et al., 2022, Immuno-proteomic profiling reveals aberrant immune cell regulation in the airways of individuals with ongoing post-COVD-19 respiratory disease, Immunity, Vol:55, ISSN:1074-7613, Pages:542-556.e5

McErlean P, Bell CG, Hewitt RJ, et al., 2021, DNA methylome alterations are associated with airway macrophage differentiation and phenotype during lung fibrosis., American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Vol:204, ISSN:1073-449X, Pages:954-966

Hewitt RJ, Lloyd CM, 2021, Regulation of immune responses by the airway epithelial cell landscape, Nature Reviews Immunology, Vol:21, ISSN:1474-1733, Pages:347-362

Ogger PP, Albers GJ, Hewitt RJ, et al., 2020, Itaconate controls the severity of pulmonary fibrosis, Science Immunology, Vol:5, ISSN:2470-9468, Pages:1-13

Hewitt RJ, Molyneaux PL, 2017, The respiratory microbiome in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis., Ann Transl Med, Vol:5, ISSN:2305-5839

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