Professor Brian Lipworth

Clinical Professor (Teaching and Research)

Molecular and Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine

Portrait photo of Brian Lipworth
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+44 (0)1382 383188



This is a group which I set up with my own funding in 1991 which now enjoys an international reputation for research excellence in the field of clinical airway research. I have clinical and research expertise in respiratory and cardiovascular medicine, along with my original background in clinical pharmacology and therapeutics. This places me in a unique position in terms of my research profile, and particularly with respect to attracting peer reviewed and industry funding.

I have good collaborative relationships with several International pharmaceutical companies and with other universities in Europe and USA.  I have brought in 6.6 M in the last 5 years. I have signed up as commercial research champion with the Tayside Medical Science Centre and am now recruiting into numerous Pharmaceutical sponsored multicenter clinical trials.

To date, clinical research fellows under my supervision have resulted in 22 MD or PhD theses. I take my mentoring role of young fellows very seriously.

It gives me immense pride and satisfaction that three of my research fellows have been appointed to UK chairs – Nigel Wheeldon (Sheffield), David Kiely (Sheffield), Andrew Wilson (Norwich).

Research interests

Significance of Research for NHS

  • Research studies using using health informatics data linkage has identified a defined small airway asthma phenotype which is associated with impaired control (Manoharan et al Eur Respir J 2014; 44: 1353–1355; Lipworth et al Lancet RM 2014;2: 497–506;Jabbal et al J Allergy Clin Immunol 2016;138:601-603)
  • A genotyped database showed a adverse interaction between beta-2 receptor Arg16Gly genotype and use of long-acting beta-2 agonists (Lee et al. Br J Clin Pharmacol 2004:57:68-75, Palmer et al. Thorax 2006;61:940-44, Basu et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2009;124:1188-94; Turner et al J Allergy Clin Immunol 2016;138:107-113).  This led to the first RCT showing a personalised genotyped based approach to prescribing (Lipworth et al Clin Sci 2013;124:521-528) 
  • A meta-analysis evaluated potential adverse reactions to NSAIDs and COX2 inhibitors in patients with asthma (Morales et al J Allergy Clin Immunol 2014;134:40-45; Morales et al Allergy 2015;70:828-8) 
  • Health informatics demonstrated the potential for adverse effects of beta-blockers in asthma and concomitant cardiovascular disease (Morales et al BMC Medicine 2017;doi:10.1186/s12916-017-0781-0; Morales et al Br J Clin Pharmacol 2016;82:814-822; Morales et al Chest 2014;145:779-786) 
  • Using a national database, I also showed underuse of beta-blockers in patients with heart failure and COPD, indicating a clinically relevant unmet need in such patients (Lipworth et al Heart 2016;102:1909-1914).In addition I showed that beta-blockers are safe to use in COPD with any beta-2 receptor mediated adverse effects on lung function mitigated by concomitant  long acting muscarinic antagonists (Jabbal et al  QJM 2017;110:785-792) .This in turn led to an NIHR funded randomized  controlled trial  to evaluate the effects of bisoprolol on exacerbations in COPD on which I am co-chief applicant 
  • We showed the impact of the smoking ban on health in bar workers, and received international media coverage (Menzies et al JAMA 2006;296:1742-1748) with an accompanying editorial emphasizing its importance 
  • I have also shown that a novel osmotic bronchial challenge test with mannitol is well tolerated in primary care, to assess airway inflammation, resulting in better long term asthma control (Lipworth et al Chest 2010;141:607-15). A screening programme involving bronchial challenge testing was employed to identify potential overtreatment of patients with adult asthma in the community (Manoharan et al Clin Exp Allergy 2014;44:1240-1245) 
  • Research into the role of the unified allergic airway (Barnes et al Allergy 2007:62:73-80) and the role of  medical polypectomy (Vaidyanathan et al Ann Intern Med 2011;154:293-302)  has driven setting up of a unique one stop combined medical/surgical rhinology service


Dundee Curriculum

I have played a major role in the implementation and development of the new medical curriculum in Dundee. In my capacity as system convener for respiratory teaching (1991-2014), I have been responsible for complete restructuring of the teaching delivered in this area, in which I have always had a significant hands on component. New innovations include the drawing up of an electronic study guide and web based teaching aids.

Postgraduate Teaching

I have previously been involved in teaching and examining for the MRCP PACES, Glasgow postgraduate respiratory medicine course; respiratory education for the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. I also give regular postgraduate educational lectures to primary and secondary care doctors, both in the UK and abroad.

Media availability

I am available for media commentary on my research.

Dr Lipworth’s research expertise asthma ,COPD ,allergic rhinitis ,sinus disease and nasal polyps

Contact Corporate Communications for media enquiries.

Areas of expertise

  • Asthma and allergies
  • Respiratory health


Press release

Tailoring asthma therapy in adolescent patients according to their genetic make-up can lead to significant improvement in control of the disease, according to new research from the University of Dundee and the Brighton and Sussex Medical School

Published on 2 February 2021

Press release

Drugs traditionally used to treat blood pressure and heart disease are to be given to lung disease patients to see if they can be beneficial, in a trial involving the Universities of Aberdeen and Dundee

Published on 22 March 2019