Professor Michael Polkey

Consultant respiratory physician


Professor Michael (Mike) Polkey is a consultant respiratory physician at Royal Brompton Hospital. Alongside his clinical work, he is an academic and has the role of professor of respiratory medicine at Imperial College London.

He regularly treats both NHS and private patients. As part of his private practice, he has visited the Gulf states extensively to both provide second opinions and act as a visiting Professor in Qatar and Kuwait. Notably, on one occasion he appeared on a popular local TV show, Good Morning Kuwait!

Clinical interests

Professor Michael Polkey specialises in treating a number of conditions:

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

In particular, he is an expert in:

  • weaning patients from invasive mechanical ventilation
  • the management of chronic respiratory failure
  • treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • respiratory aspects of neurological diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neurone disease (MND), or Lou Gehrig’s disease.


Professor Michael Polkey is deputy director of the respiratory biomedical research unit at Royal Brompton Hospital, which is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

He has experience in acquiring and directing multi-centre research grants.


Professor Michael Polkey has published over 150 peer reviewed scientific articles. He is associate editor of two journals, the European Respiratory Journal and Clinical Science.


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


Royal Brompton Hospital, Wimpole Street