Clinical expertise

Professor Michael Polkey specialises in treating a number of conditions:

In particular, he is an expert in:


Professor Michael Polkey is a consultant respiratory physician at Royal Brompton Hospital, where he treats NHS and private patients.

Alongside his clinical work, he is an academic and has the role of professor of respiratory medicine at Imperial College London.

He also works for 8 weeks per year for NHS Highland where he is responsible for their sleep service and outpatient respiratory services in Fort William & Skye.

Research interests

Professor Michael Polkey has experience in acquiring and directing multi-centre research grants. His recent research interests have focused on novel approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnoea.

Professor Polkey also collaborates internationally. He has a close working relationship with the Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Disease, China, and has taken part in joint study visits and research projects. He has collaborated with Professor Luo from the Ministry of Physiological Studies to look at what happens to breathing muscles during sleep. Alongside Professor Luo, he is a recipient of a grant award from the Chinese Ministry of Health.


Professor Michael Polkey has published over 300 peer-reviewed scientific articles and was awarded the ERS Gold medal for research in COPD by the European Respiratory Society in 2018.

He is associate editor of Thorax and sits on the editorial board of JCOPD Journal. He reviews for all major respiratory journals and UK grant awarding bodies.


As part of his role as a professor of respiratory medicine at Imperial College London, Professor Michael Polkey supervises and examines PhD students.

He and his team train a number of overseas students at Royal Brompton Hospital, including junior doctors from as far afield as Greece and Siberia.

He is in demand globally as a speaker and has spoken at the American Thoracic Society, the European Respiratory Society and at the Asian Pacific Congress of Respirology. He has been visiting professor in Lexington, Kentucky, USA and in Doha, Qatar.