Division of Respirology

Paul O’Byrne


Professor, Division of Respirology, Department of Medicine

Dean and Vice-President, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University

St. Joseph's Healthcare

Distinguished University Professor, McMaster University



Education and Professional Standing

Dr. O’Byrne is currently the Dean and Vice-President, Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University. Dr. O’Byrne is  world renowned for his research on asthma that is the result of allergies.

His current research interests focus on the mechanisms and treatment of asthma, with particular reference to the role of environmental allergens and the mechanisms by which these cause airway inflammation. Dr. O´Byrne is a prolific publisher, as evidenced by his almost 400 peer-reviewed papers in highly regarded journals. He has also edited ten books and has written more than 100 review papers and is a frequent lecturer at international meetings.

Dr. O'Byrne is member of the Executive Committee of the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), is Associate Editor of Chest, Thorax  and International Archives of Allergy and Immunology.

Awards and Distinctions

Medical Research Council of Canada Scholar (1984-89)
Medical Research Council of Canada Scientist (1989-1994)
Medical Research Council of Canada Senior Scientist (1995-2000)
Robert A Cooke Memorial Lecturer, AAAAI Annual Meeting (1998)
EJ Moran Campbell Professor of Medicine (1998-present)
Honorary Fellowship, Faculty of Medicine, University College, Dublin (1999)
James H Graham Award of Merit, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (2008)
Honorary Fellow, American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (2010)
Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2010)
Congress Chair Award and Medal, European Respiratory Society (2011)
Fellowship of European Respiratory Society (2014)
Distinguished Professor, McMaster University (2015)
Fellow of Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (2015)

Research Interests

The mechanisms and treatment of asthma: specifically the regulation of environmental allergen-induced airway inflammation and the development of new anti-inflammatory asthma treatments.

Selected Publications 2013-15

  1. O’Byrne PM, Naji N. Asthma: managing severe disease. Lancet Resp Med 2013; 1:3-4
  2. O’Byrne PM, Pedersen S, Schatz M, Thoren A, Ekholm E, Carlsson L-G, Busse WW. The poorly explored impacts of uncontrolled asthma. Chest 2013; 143:511-23.
  3. Diamant Z, Gauvreau GM, Cockcroft DW, Boulet L-P, Sterk PJ, de Jongh FHC, Dahlén B, O’Byrne PM. Allergen bronchoprovocation tests. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2013; 132:1045-1055.
  4. Gauvreau GM, Boulet LP, Cockcroft DW, FitzGerald JM, Mayers I, Carlsten C, Laviolette M, Killian K, Davis BE, Larché M, Kipling C, Deschesnes F, Hui L, Watson RM, Mosesova S, Putnam W, Zheng Y, Lazarov M, Jaeger J, Scheerens H, McClintock D, Matthews J, O’Byrne PM. The effects of OX40L blockade on allergen-induced airway responses in subjects with mild atopic asthma. Clin Exp Allergy 2014; 44:29-37.
  5.  Kinoshita T, Baatjes A, Smith SG, Dua B, Watson R, Kawayama T, Larche M, Gauvreau GM, O’Byrne PM.  Natural T regulatory cells in isolated early responder compared to dual responder subjects with allergic asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2014; 133:696-703.
  6.  Dua B, Tang W, Watson R, Gauvreau GM, O’Byrne PM.  Myeloid dendritic cells type 2 after allergen inhalation in asthmatic subjects. Clin Exp Allergy 2014; 44:921-9.
  7. Gauvreau GM, O'Byrne PM, Boulet L-P, Wang Y, Cockcroft DW, Bigler J, FitzGerald JM, Boedigheimer M, Davis BE, Dias C, Gorski KS, Smith L, Bautista E, Comeau MR, Leigh R, Parnes JR. Effects of an anti-TSLP antibody on allergen-induced asthmatic responses. New Engl J Med 2014; 370:2102-10.
  8. Gauvreau GM, Harris JH, Boulet L-P, Scheerens H, Fitzgerald JM, Putnam WS, Cockcroft DW, Davis BE, Leigh R, Zheng Y, Dahlen B, Wang Y, Mosesova S, Maciuca R, Mayers I, Liao XC, Wu LC, Matthews JG, O’Byrne PM.Targeting membrane-expressed IgE B cell receptor with an antibody against M1 prime epitope reduces IgE production. Science Transl Med 2014; 6:243ra85.
  9. Boulet L-P, O’Byrne PM. Asthma and exercise in athletes. New Engl J Med 2015; 372:641-8.
  10. 394.  Gauvreau GM, Boulet L-P, Leigh R, Cockcroft DW, Killian KJ, Davis BE,  Deschesnes F, Watson RM, Swystun V, Wessman P, Jorup C, Aurivillius M, O’Byrne PM. A Non-Steroidal Glucocorticoid Receptor Agonist Inhibits Allergen-Induced Late Asthmatic Responses.  Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2015; 191:161-7.

Team Members

Graduate Students: Emma Price

Postdoctoral Fellows: Dr.  K. Watanabe, Dr. K. Machida