Professor Athol Wells is a consultant in respiratory medicine at Royal Brompton Hospital, where he treats both private and NHS patients. 

Professor Wells trained in New Zealand at Greenlane Clinical Centre, Auckland, before starting postgraduate studies at Royal Brompton Hospital in 1989.

He is clinical and academic lead for the interstitial lung disease unit at Royal Brompton Hospital.

Clinical expertise

Professor Athol Wells specialises in diffuse lung disease.

His areas of expertise include:

Professor Wells has chaired the British Thoracic Society group which has revised guidelines related to diffuse lung disease. He has also contributed to the American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society group which has revised guidelines related to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Furthermore, he has been part of other joint groups involved in defining non-specific interstitial pneumonia, smoking-related diffuse lung disease and acute exacerbations of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. 

Research interests

Professor Athol Wells has particular research interests in:

  • prognostic evaluation in diffuse lung disease using high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) and pulmonary function tests
  • the definition of relationships between structure and function in diffuse lung disease
  • the definition of disease type and severity in genetic and laboratory studies
  • studies of new therapies in diffuse lung disease.


Professor Athol Wells sits on advisory boards for journals including:

  • American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
  • Thorax.

He is the principal editor or co-editor of three books including Sarcoidosis (CRC Press, 2012).


Professor Athol Wells is a professor of respiratory medicine at Imperial College London.

He speaks around the world at major conferences, including the American Thoracic Society and European Respiratory Society conferences.