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Rob Hallifax


Consultant in Respiratory Medicine

  • Respiratory Consultant, Oxford University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Former NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer, University of Oxford
  • Junior Teaching Fellow, University College, University of Oxford
  • CO-lead for Respiratory Clinical Research Network, Thames Valley

My research is in patients with Primary Spontaneous Pneumothorax (PSP) in which air leaks from the lung, collapsing the lung, causing pain and breathlessness. This is a common and currently unpredictable condition which occurs in young, otherwise fit patients. The optimal way to manage PSP has not been determined and remains a challenge. It leads to over 3,000 admissions in the UK and significantly impacts quality of life. The underlying pathophysiology is poorly understood. Treatment is generic (non-personalised); resulting in prolonged hospital stay and unpredictable future disease management.

The goal is to design and deliver robust clinical trials to change clinical practice, and to use translational and observational studies to understand the cause and consequence of PSP.

Previous work has included the following:

  • “Trends in the Incidence and Recurrence of Inpatient-Treated Spontaneous Pneumothorax, 1968-2016”. JAMA: 2018 ;320(14):1471-1480. The largest ever epidemiological assessment of Pneumothorax including 170,929 hospital admission records, which showed increasing incidence in pneumothorax and quantified risk of recurrence.


  • “RAMPP: Ambulatory management of primary spontaneous pneumothorax: an open-label, randomised controlled trial”. Lancet: 2020 Jul 4;396(10243):39-49. This NIHR-funded study was the largest randomised RCT of primary pneumothorax ever in Europe, which showed that ambulatory management was safe and effective – significantly reducing hospital stay.

This study will directly influence the care of thousands of patients across the world through their inclusion in the British Thoracic Society (BTS) pneumothorax guidelines (2023).

Recent publications

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