Professional background

Dr Rónan Astin was awarded a BA in biomedical sciences from Cambridge University before completing his medical studies at University College London. He trained in respiratory and intensive care medicine at St Thomas’, the Whittington and UCLH, and in 2014 completed a PhD in mitochondrial physiology at UCL in the Centre for Human Health and Performance.

Rónan works in both the department of respiratory medicine at University College Hospital and the Neuromuscular Complex Care Centre (NMCCC) at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.

His clinical areas of specialist interest include respiratory physiology, exercise dysfunction and breathlessness, sleep disordered breathing and ventilation support. He is clinical lead for respiratory medicine, and trust lead for respiratory physiology and non-invasive ventilation. At University College Hospital he runs a clinic in complex breathlessness with indepth holistic assessment including cardiopulmonary exercise testing. At the NMCCC he co-leads the long-term ventilation service, and runs specialist clinics for neuro-respiratory assessment, motor neurone disease, and ventilatory support.

Rónan is also a senior research fellow at the Institute for Sport Exercise and Health, with research interests covering cardiorespiratory physiology, physical exercise limitation, and muscle metabolism and metabolic plasticity.

Research interests

  • Exercise limitation
  • Muscle and mitochondrial physiology
  • Oxygen transport and haemoglobin biology
  • Measures of respiratory physiology
  • Control of breathing


Recent clinically relevant publications include:

  • Neurophysiology of breathing. R Astin. Chapter 19, Encyclopedia of Respiratory Medicine, 2nd Edition, 2020.
  • Expiratory muscle strength training improves measures of pressure generation and cough strength in a patient with myotonic dystrophy type 1. J Allen, R Astin et al. RastinNeuromuscul Disord 2020 Sep;30(9):750-755
  • Exercise prehabilitation may lead to augmented tumor regression following neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy in locally advanced rectal cancer. M West, R Astin et al. Acta Oncol 2019 Feb 6:1-8
  • Metabolic phenotype of skeletal muscle in early critical illness. Z Puthucheary, R Astin et al. Thorax 2018 Oct;73(10):926-935
  • How is physical activity measured in lung cancer? A systematic review of outcome measures and their psychometric properties. L Edbrooke, L Denehy, SM Parry, R Astin, S Jack, C Granger. Respirology 2017 Feb 22;2 (263-277)
  • Normal Physiology of the Cardiovascular System. HE Montgomery and R Astin. Oxford Textbook of Critical Care (2 ed.), Apr 2016, Ch 5.1, pp, ISBN-13: 9780199600830