Imperial College London

Professor Terry Tetley

Faculty of MedicineNational Heart & Lung Institute

Professor of Lung Cell Biology



+44 (0)20 7594 2984t.tetley Website




109Sir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Terry Tetley PhD, FSB, Professor of Lung Cell Biology


Her research focuses on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of pulmonary diseases related to inhaled toxicants, including cigarette smoke, asbestos, ambient particulate air pollution and engineered nanoparticles. She initiated the Imperial College strategy on “Nanoparticles and Health” in 2006. This involves scientists from all Faculties has led to international collaborations in the EU and USA. A major aim is to identify which features of engineered nanomaterials will deliver safer products.

Professor Tetley belongs to the MRC-HPA Centre for the Environment and Health at Imperial College and the NIHR-HPRU on the Health Impact of Environmental Hazards ( both joint with KCL).


She was Vice President of the Institute of Biology (IOB; 2000-2004), chaired the IOB Board of Public Relations and served on the IOB Biomedical Sciences Committee on a number of occasions. President of the British Association for Lung Research (2011-2015), previously Chairman from 2001-2005. She has served on the British Thoracic Society Scientific Committee (2001-2005), and is currently a member of the British Lung Foundation Research Grants Committee (2008-2016). She sat on the German Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft: DFG priority program 1313 – Biological Responses to Nanoscale Particles review panel (2007-2014). Currently (2015) on the review panel of the third transnational call for ERA-NET on Nanosafety Safe Implementation of Innovative Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (SIINN).


She has been teaching medical students for over 25 years. She was the first Course Director for the Respiratory Science with Medicine intercalated MBBS BSc (1999-2005) and is currently a Module Leader. She has been actively involved in all aspects of course development, examinations and student welfare. She is involved in the assessment and mentoring of new teachers. She is a Senior Welfare Tutor in the Faculty of Medicine, overseeing the personal tutors and students in MBBS year 4 (BSc) and the Biomedical Sciences students. She sits on a number of committees related to teaching and welfare.


She collaborates with a number of researchers at Imperial College, including Professor Fan Chung, Dr Alexandra Porter, Dr Mary Ryan and Professor Milo Shaffer on in vitro and in vivo effects of nanomaterials in relation to particle physicochemistry, with Professor Maria Belvisi on the effects of ambient air pollution particles/diesel exhaust on respiratory sensory nerves and cough, Professor Yuri Korchev and Dr Julia Gorelik on the cardiorespiratory cellular reactivity of nanoparticles, Mr Eric Lim on individualisation of effective chemotherapy for lung cancer (industrial). She is interested in nanodrug delivery to the lung, currently being led by Dr Andrew Thorley in the Lung Cell Biology team.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Sweeney S, Theodorou IG, Zambianchi M, et al., 2015, Silver nanowire interactions with primary human alveolar type-II epithelial cell secretions: contrasting bioreactivity with human alveolar type-I and type-II epithelial cells., Nanoscale, Vol:7, ISSN:2040-3372, Pages:10398-10409

Sweeney S, Grandolfo D, Ruenraroengsak P, et al., 2015, Functional consequences for primary human alveolar macrophages following treatment with long, but not short, multiwalled carbon nanotubes, International Journal of Nanomedicine, Vol:10, ISSN:1178-2013, Pages:3115-3129

Nyga A, Hart A, Tetley TD, 2015, Importance of the HIF pathway in cobalt nanoparticle-induced cytotoxicity and inflammation in human macrophages, Nanotoxicology, Vol:9, ISSN:1743-5390, Pages:905-917

Theodorou IG, Ryan MP, Tetley TD, et al., 2014, Inhalation of silver nanomaterials - seeing the risks, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Vol:15, ISSN:1661-6596, Pages:23936-23974

Thorley AJ, Ruenraroengsak P, Potter TE, et al., 2014, Critical Determinants of Uptake and Trans location of Nanoparticles by the Human Pulmonary Alveolar Epithelium, ACS Nano, Vol:8, ISSN:1936-0851, Pages:11778-11789

Sweeney S, Berhanu D, Misra SK, et al., 2014, Multi-walled carbon nanotube length as a critical determinant of bioreactivity with primary human pulmonary alveolar cells., Carbon

Thorley AJ, Tetley TD, 2013, New perspectives in nanomedicine, Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Vol:140, ISSN:0163-7258, Pages:176-185

Smyth E, Solomon A, Vydyanath A, et al., 2013, The potencies and mechanisms by which engineered nanoparticles induce platelet aggregation are dependent upon their precise physicochemistry, Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, Vol:11, ISSN:1538-7933, Pages:895-896

Solomon A, Smyth E, Mitha N, et al., 2013, Induction of platelet aggregation after a direct physical interaction with diesel exhaust particles, Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, Vol:11, ISSN:1538-7933, Pages:325-334

Chen S, Goode AE, Sweeney S, et al., 2013, Sulfidation of silver nanowires inside human alveolar epithelial cells: a potential detoxification mechanism, Nanoscale, Vol:5, ISSN:2040-3364, Pages:9839-9847

Tetley TD, Thorley AJ, 2013, Health effects, Biochemist, Vol:35, ISSN:0954-982X, Pages:14-20

Thorley AJ, Grandolfo D, Lim E, et al., 2011, Innate immune responses to bacterial ligands in the peripheral human lung - role of alveolar epithelial TLR expression and signalling, Plos One, Vol:6(7):

Ruenraroengsak P, Novak P, Berhanu D, et al., 2011, Respiratory epithelial cytotoxicity and membrane damage (holes) caused by amine-modified nanoparticles., Nanotoxicology, ISSN:1743-5404

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