Professor Eric Lim is a consultant thoracic surgeon who treats NHS and private patients at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals.

He received his undergraduate medical education at the University of Sheffield. He went on to complete heart and lung surgical training at Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge and at Royal Brompton Hospital in London.

Professor Lim spent time in medical research in Cambridge where he was awarded a Doctorate of Medicine. He received his Masters of Science in Medical Statistics, funded by a scholarship from the UK Medical Research Council.

He joined the Royal Brompton Hospital in 2007 as a thoracic surgeon and leads the hospital’s Cancer Research Consortia. Professor Lim specialises in thoracic surgical diseases, with a strong focus on patient care, aspiring to make thoracic surgery that causes the least amount of pain and disruption to the patient’s life as possible.

Clinical expertise

Professor Eric Lim is a consultant thoracic surgeon who leads the academic division of thoracic surgery at the Royal Brompton Hospital. He specialises in:

  • minimally-invasive (keyhole) surgery for lung and chest cancer
  • airway and blood vessel reconstruction – to save as much normal lung as possible
  • complex surgery for advanced lung cancer
  • mediastinal surgery
  • emphysema
  • pleural effusion
  • pneumothorax and other chest cancers
  • lung cancer screening.

Professor Lim was a pioneer in establishing the single-incision keyhole surgery programme for lung cancer at Royal Brompton Hospital. Now he performs the majority of his operations through a single 3cm incision. He is interested in the development and conduct of day-case thoracic surgery.

Research interests

Professor Eric Lim has an active interest in clinical and translational research. He has published over 70 peer-reviewed publications in the last 10 years.

His research on systematic reviews and clinical trials in thoracic surgery, surgical oncology, biomarker development and validation in lung cancer has been awarded national and international prizes, including the Society of Cardiothoracic Surgery best thoracic surgery research for four consecutive years (2008-2011).

His translational research focuses on diagnostic and predictive biomarkers in cancer working with circulating tumour cells, circulating free DNA and RNA. He is the head of the Biomedical Research Unit Cancer Consortia and he leads a team of translational researchers focusing on blood based cancer diagnosis and predictive testing aspiring to shorten time to diagnosis and eliminate complications of conventional invasive tissue biopsy.

PubMed has a list of Eric Lim’s peer-reviewed publications.

He is the UK chief investigator for:

  • ‘MARS 2’, a multicentre trial of surgery for mesothelioma, funded by Cancer Research UK
  • ‘VIOLET’, a multicentre trial of keyhole surgery for lung cancer, funded by the National Institute for Health Research’s Health Technology Assessment programme.


Professor Eric Lim is a reader in thoracic surgery at Imperial College London. In this role, he teaches students about research methods, including how and why evidence-based practice is important. Also at Royal Brompton Hospital, he trains junior surgeons in thoracic surgery.

Professor Lim is well known as the editor of An Integrated Textbook of Medicine and Surgery, published by Elsevier. This is a core textbook for medical students and has won many awards.


Professor Eric Lim currently holds positions as:

  • Chair of British Thoracic Society / Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery Guidelines on the Radical Management of Lung Cancer, 2010
  • Member of European Society of Medical Oncology Guidelines for the Management of Early-stage Lung Cancer, 2013
  • Member of the European Neuroendocrine Society Guidelines on the Management of Bronchopulmonary Neuroendocrine Tumours, 2014
  • Associate editor of Thorax  
  • Associate editor of the European Thoracic Oncology Platform
  • Council member of European Society of Thoracic Surgeons
  • Member of Steering Committee of the British Thoracic Oncology Group
  • Panel member of UK Intercollegiate Speciality Board in Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Chair of UK Thoracic Surgery Research Collaborative
  • Deputy Statistics Editor for the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.