Dr. Paul M. O’Byrne is the dean and vice-president of the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University, and the dean of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. He is also a Distinguished University Professor of Medicine of McMaster, a world-renowned researcher and a practicing respirologist.
He became dean and vice-president in July 2016 after 14 years as chair of the Faculty’s largest department, the Department of Medicine.
O’Byrne obtained his medical degree at University College, Dublin, Ireland, and his training in Internal medicine and respiratory medicine at McMaster University. He undertook research training at both McMaster and the Cardiovascular Research Institute in San Francisco, California. He joined the faculty at McMaster in 1984.
His research interests are on the mechanisms and treatment of asthma, particularly the role of environmental allergens and the mechanisms by which these cause airway inflammation.
He has published more than 400 peer reviewed papers, including papers in New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Nature Medicine, AJRCCM, JACI and Journal of Immunology. He has authored 98 book chapters and edited 12 books.
O’Byrne was the executive director of the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton from 2002 to 2016 and held the position as the E.J. Moran Campbell Professor of Medicine from 1998 to 2016.
He has received the James H. Graham Award of Merit, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and has been the distinguished lecturer in respiratory sciences for the Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research. He was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 2010, and he was awarded the European Respiratory Society Congress Award and Medal in 2011. He was elected to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and received McMaster’s top academic award, appointment as a Distinguished Professor, in 2015.
O’Byrne is the past-chair of the executive committee of the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA). He is associate editor of Chest and International Archives of Allergy and Immunology, and he is on the editorial board of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine and Thorax.