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Professor David Halpin

Professor David Halpin

Consultant Physician & Honorary Professor of Respiratory Medicine

 Smeall building 


Smeall Building, University of Exeter, St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK


Professor Halpin was appointed as a Consultant Physician and Senior Lecturer in Respiratory Medicine in Exeter in 1994. He has a busy clinical practice and for 13 years he was Clinical Lead for the Department in Exeter, overseeing the growth in its clinical and research activity.  He is also Honorary Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the Observational and Pragmatic Research Institute (OPRI) in Singapore.  He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Global Initiative on Obstructive Lung Diseases (GOLD) and of the GOLD Science Committee.  He was the Chairman and Clinical Expert for the COPD Guideline Development Group of the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the UK.

He studied medicine at Brasenose College, Oxford University (first class honours) & St Thomas Hospital Medical School, qualifying in 1986.   He was awarded an MRC scholarship to undertake a D.Phil. in the Department of Human Anatomy at Oxford University, between his pre-clinical and clinical training.   He trained in respiratory medicine at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London.

He is a Fellow of Royal College Physicians, and a Member of the British Thoracic Society (BTS), European Respiratory Society (ERS) & American Thoracic Society (ATS).  He has served on various BTS committees.  In 2018 he was elected as a Fellow of ERS in recognition of lifetime excellence and contributions to research, education and clinical leadership in respiratory medicine.


  • BA Physiological Sciences, First Class, University of Oxford, 1981
  • DPhil, University of Oxford, 1983
  • MA, University of Oxford, 1983
  • MB BS, St Thomas's Hospital Medical School, London University 1986
  • MRCP, Royal College of Physicians London 1989
  • FRCP, Royal College of Physicians London, 1999
  • FERS, European Respiratory Society, 2018


Research interests

His research is focused on clinical aspects of COPD and asthma.

He has led studies on the pharmacological treatment of asthma and COPD, including the effects of long acting-bronchodilators, inhaled corticosteroids and biologic therapies. He has recently led a real world pragmatic RCT examining the benefits of single versus multiple inhaler therapy in COPD.  Recent work has also looked at the role of biomarkers as predictors of therapeutic response.

He has also had a longstanding interests in the role of palliative care for patients with COPD and the role of psychological factors in COPD and asthma.

Research projects

  • MAGNIFY Trial: A pragmatic cluster randomized study evaluating a smart inhaler in patients with COPD
  • QUEST Study:  Predictors of response to Dupilumab in asthma.
  • CONQUEST: COPD quality improvement program development and cluster randomized RCT to assess efficacy in primary care
  • TRITON: Phase III study comparing efficacy, safety and tolerability of the fixed dose triple therapy with the fixed dose dual therapy in subjects with COPD

External Engagement and Impact


  • Elected as a Fellow of European Respiratory Society in 2018 in recognition of lifetime excellence and contributions to research, education and clinical leadership in respiratory medicine.

Committee/panel activities

  • Member, Board of Directors & Science Committee, Global Obstructive Lung Disease Initiative (GOLD) since 2014
  • Vice Chair, South West Clinical Senate Council since 2015
  • Former Chair & Clinical Advisor, NICE COPD Guideline Group       
  • Former Chair, NICE Anaemia management in chronic kidney disease Guideline Group
  • Former External Examiner, MSc & Diploma in Respiratory Medicine, Imperial College, London
  • Former Chair, NICE Chronic Kidney Disease Guideline Group
  • Former Chair, Met Office COPD Health Forecasting Advisory Group
  • Former Member, NICE COPD Quality Standards Topic Expert Group
  • Former Respiratory Clinical Lead, NHS South West
  • Former Member, Department of Health COPD Commissioning Reference Group

Editorial responsibilities

  • Former Associate Editor Thorax

Invited lectures

  • Chinese College of Allergy & Asthma, 2018
  • American Thoracic Society, 2018
  • Asian Pacific Society of Respirology, Taipei, 2018
  • COPD 11, Birmingham, 2018
  • Taiwan Pulmonolgy Society, Taichung, 2018
  • Pneumo UPDATE, Budapest, 2018
  • Latin American Expert Forum, Panama, 2018
  • GOLD 2019 Meeting, Philadelphia, 2018
  • European Respiratory Society, Paris, 2018
  • Brazilian Respiratory Expert Forum, Sao Paulo, 2018
  • Korean National Respiratory Congress, Seoul
  • 2019 International Meeting on Asthma, COPD and Concomitant Disorders, Florence
  • American Thoracic Society, 2019
  • COPD Forum, Beijing, 2019
  • Pneumo UPDATE, Prague , 2019
  • Chinese Thoracic Society Satellite Meeting, Guangzhou, 2019
  • Malaysian Thoracic Society COPD Meeting, Kuala Lumpur, 2019
  • COPD Forum, Singapore , 2019
  • CUHK Advances in Medicine, Hong Kong, 2019
  • COPD Forum Changdu, 2020
  • SEPAR COVID meeting (virtual), 2020
  • American Thoracic Society (virtual), 2020
  • Taiwan Airway Forum (virtual), 2020
  • Hong Kong Thoracic Society (virtual), 2020
  • Indian COPD Webinar, 2020


Supervision / Group

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