Professor Michael Polkey | Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Education

Professor Michael Polkey

Consultant respiratory physician
Specialises in respiratory aspects of neurological disease and numerous respiratory conditions such as COPD, emphysema and sleep-disordered breathing.

Professor Michael Polkey is an academic and continues as a professor of respiratory medicine at Imperial College London.

He is invited as a professor in Qatar and Kuwait due to his expertise and knowledge in respiratory medicine and also acts in a clinical capacity in providing second opinions on patient diagnoses.

Clinical expertise

Professor Polkey specialises in many respiratory conditions, including:

  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • respiratory aspects of neurological disease
  • advanced lung disease which results in respiratory failure
  • sleep disordered breathing
  • emphysema
  • diaphragm disease.

In particular, he is an expert in the management of chronic respiratory failure, treating COPD, weaning patients from invasive mechanical ventilation and is highly considered for his expertise in neurological diseases as motor neurone disease (MND) known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Research interests

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funds the respiratory biomedical research unit at Royal Brompton Hospital and Professor Polkey is the deputy director.  He has acquired and directed many multi-faceted research projects, with many focused around COPD.


Professor Polkey has nearly 200 published scientific articles and sits as an associate editor for the European Respiratory Journal and Clinical Science.  He is active on the board of Skeletal Muscle and the COPD journals and is well established in reviewing for all other major respiratory journals.


Professor Polkey supervises and examines PhD students at Imperial College London, as well as trains a number of overseas students at Royal Brompton Hospital. He is also in demand on a global level as an international speaker.