Mark Birrell is a Research Fellow in the Respiratory Pharmacology group in the National Heart & Lung Institute (NHLI) Division, Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London. In 2017, he joined AstraZeneca to help bring together academic research with the might of a leading pharmaceutical company. Dr Birrell leads the Cough and In Vivo departments in Early R&I at AstraZeneca, aiming to discover new therapies for the treatment of chronic respiratory and immunological disorders. He has extensive experience across various phases of drug discovery and therapeutic areas, working at Sanofi-Aventis for 15 years prior to joining the NHLI in 2000. Dr Birrell helped establish the Respiratory Pharmacology group at the NHLI, which he now runs with Prof. Maria Belvisi. He is an internationally recognized expert in the respiratory field, in particular in pre-clinical models of asthma and COPD, with over 100 peer-reviewed publications.