Professor Stephen Holgate

Professor Stephen Holgate is a world-renowned air quality expert and one of the lead authors for the ‘The inside story‘ and ‘Every breath we take‘ reports.

Professor Holgate is the Royal College of Physicians Special Advisor on Air Quality, working group lead for the RCPCH and RCP Indoor Air Quality Working Group, and Medical Research Council (MRC) Clinical Professor of Immunopharmacology at the University of Southampton.

Professor Holgate was previously keynote speaker (see presentation) at our Healthy Buildings Conference 2018.


Stephen is MRC Clinical Professor of Immunopharmacology at the University of Southampton. He was born in Manchester, spent his childhood in Cheshire and then moved to London in 1965 to study medicine at Charing Cross Hospital Medical School.

After training in respiratory medicine in London and Southampton, he undertook a 2 year Fellowship at Harvard Medical School. On returning to Southampton in 1980, he pursued a research career on the mechanisms of asthma and allergy involving a wide range of different approaches and in 1987 was appointed to a Medical Research Council Professorship, a post he has held since. He has a particular interest in the role of air pollutants, viruses and allergens in driving airway inflammation and remodelling.

His work has resulted in over 1000 peer reviewed publications. He is among the top 400 most highly influential biomedical researchers 1996-2011. He has been a member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, was founder chair of the Department of Health Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollution, President of the British Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and British Thoracic Society and is currently President of the Collegium Internationale Allergologicum and the British Association for Lung

Until 2011 he chaired the UK Medical Research Council Population and Systems Medicine Board and now chairs the MRC Translational Research Group with oversight over the pull though of basic science to patient benefit. Most recently, he was chair of Main Panel A representing the Medical and Life Sciences of the Research Excellence Framework 2014 which assessed the quality of research and its impact in 156 UK universities. Currently, he chairs the Board governing the National Centre for the Replacement, Reduction and Refinement (NC3Rs) of animal use in research, the UK government Hazardous Substances Advisory Committee He also
chairs the MRC Translational Group responsible for pulling through discovery science into patient benefit and is a member of the MRC Strategy Board and the Natural Environment Research Council Science and Innervation Strategy Board.

He is chair of the European Respiratory Society Science Council and member of the ERS Executive and a member of the Medical Sciences Committee of Science Europe. He serves on several Scientific Advisory Boards in the UK and overseas including chair of the MRC Centre for Musculoskeletal Aging, chair of the iMed Helmholtz Associations initiative in personalised medicine and member of the SAB for the European Centre for Environment and Human Health (Truro, Cornwall) and the Nottingham Molecular Pathology Node.

Stephen has received a number of honours and awards including the King Faisal International Prize for Medicine, the Paul Ehrlich Prize of the European Academy of Allergy Asthma (EAACI) and Clinical Immunology, the American Thoracic Society (ATS) Recognition Award for Scientific Accomplishments, the William Frankland award for Clinical Allergy and the British Thoracic Society Medal. In 2011, he was appointed Commander of the British Empire in the Queen’s New Year Honours list for services to clinical science.

Download Healthy Buildings 2018 presentation

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