Dr. Param Nair

Division of Respirology

Parameswaran Nair


Frederick E. Hargreave Teva Innovation Chair in Airway Diseases

Professor of Medicine, Division of Respirology

Adjunct Professor of Medicine, McGill University

Staff Respirologist, Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health



Educational and Professional Standing

After obtaining his medical degree (MBBS) from the University of Kerala in India in 1988, Dr Nair trained in general and respiratory medicine at the University of Kerala Medical College Hospital in Trivandrum (with an MD for thesis on exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, Diploma in Tuberculosis, and National Board Certification in Respiratory Medicine (DNB), and Royal Sunderland and Royal Sussex County Hospitals in England (MRCP in General Medicine, 1996). He joined the faculty of Health Sciences of McMaster University in 2004 after training in Health Research Methodology, a clinical research fellowship and a PhD under the supervision of Professors Frederick Hargreave and Paul O’Byrne. He was elected a Member of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of India in 1993, Fellow of the College of Chest Physicians in 1999, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London in 2003 and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada in 2009 with certification in Internal Medicine and Respirology. He was awarded the Ann Woolcock Prize in 2005 by the American Thoracic Society and the Bastable-Potts Prize in 2016 by the Asthma Society of Canada for excellence in asthma research.

Research Interests

Dr. Nair's research focuses on developing and applying non-invasive measurements of airway inflammation in the treatment of severe asthma and COPD. His laboratory characterizes the types of bronchitis in airway diseases using measurements in sputum, develops novel biomarkers in sputum, identifies mechanisms of bronchitis and explores novel targeted therapies of bronchitis. He directs the AllerGen National Centre of Excellence Clinical Investigators Consortium for Severe Asthma and is a co-investigator of the Canadian Respiratory Research Network. He was supported by the Canada Research Chair program from 2005-2015.

Clinical Interests

At the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, he looks after patients with complex obstructive airway diseases, severe asthma, recurrent bronchitis, and eosinophilic lung disorders.  These unique multi-disciplinary clinics, in collaboration with Dr Mike Trus, Dr Nader Khalidi, and Dr Gerry Cox, provide these patients access to biologics, molecular microbiology and bronchial thermoplasty and opportunities to participate in research programs.

Selected Publications

  1. Rabe KF, Nair P, Brusselle G, Maspero JF, Castro M, Sher L, Zhu H, Hamilton JD, Swanson BN, Khan A, Chao J, Staudinger H, Pirozzi G, Antoni C, Amin N, Ruddy M, Akinlade B, Graham NMH, Stahl N, Yancopoulos GD, Teper A. Efficacy and Safety of Dupilumab in Glucocorticoid-Dependent Severe Asthma. N Engl J Med 2018; 378: 2475-2485
  2. Sehmi R, Lim HF, Mukherjee M, Huang C, Radford K, Newbold P, Boulet LP, Dorscheid D, Martin JG, Nair P. Benralizumab attenuates airway eosinophilia in prednisone-dependent asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2018; 141: 1529-1532.e8.
  3. Svenningsen S, Eddy RL, Lim HF, Cox PG, Nair P, Parraga G. Sputum Eosinophilia and Magnetic Resonance Imaging Ventilation Heterogeneity in Severe Asthma. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2018; 197: 876-884.
  4. Mukherjee M, Bulir DC, Radford K, Kjarsgaard M, Huang CM, Jacobsen EA, Ochkur SI, Catuneanu A, Lamothe-Kipnes H, Mahony J, Lee JJ, Lacy P, Nair P.  Sputum autoantibodies in patients with severe eosinophilic asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2018; 141: 1269-1279.
  5. Mukherjee M, Aleman Paramo F, Kjarsgaard M, Salter B, Nair G, LaVigne N, Radford K, Sehmi R, Nair P.  Weight-adjusted Intravenous Reslizumab in Severe Asthma with Inadequate Response to Fixed-Dose Subcutaneous Mepolizumab. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2018; 197: 38-46.
  6. Nair P, Wenzel S, Rabe KF, Bourdin A, Lugogo NL, Kuna P, Barker P, Sproule S, Ponnarambil S, Goldman M; ZONDA Trial Investigators. Oral Glucocorticoid-Sparing Effect of Benralizumab in Severe Asthma. N Engl J Med 2017 May 22. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1703501. [Epub ahead of print]
  7. Aziz-Ur-Rehman A, Dasgupta A, Kjarsgaard M, Hargreave FE, Nair P. Sputum cell counts to manage prednisone-dependent asthma: effects on FEV1 and eosinophilic exacerbations. Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol 2017 Apr 4;13:17.
  8. Ho T, Dasgupta A, Hargreave FE, Nair P. The use of cellular and molecular biomarkers to manage COPD exacerbations. Expert Rev Respir Med 2017 May;11(5):403-411.
  9. Mukherjee M, Nair P. Blood or sputum eosinophils to guide asthma therapy? Lancet Respir Med. 2015 Nov;3(11):824-5.
  10. Smith SG, Chen R, Kjarsgaard M, Huang C, Oliveria JP, O'Byrne PM, Gauvreau GM, Boulet LP, Lemiere C, Martin J, Nair P, Sehmi R. Increased numbers of activated group 2 innate lymphoid cells in the airways of patients with severe asthma and persistent airway eosinophilia. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2015 Jul 17. pii: S0091-6749(15)00789-7.
  11. Cox C, Kjarsgaard M, Surette MG, Cox PG, Nair P. A multidimensional approach to the management of severe asthma: Inflammometry, molecular microbiology and bronchial thermoplasty.  Can Respir J. 2015 Jul-Aug;22(4):221-4.
  12. Nair P, Aziz-Ur-Rehman A, Radford K. Therapeutic implications of 'neutrophilic asthma'. Curr Opin Pulm Med 2015 Jan; 21(1):33-8.
  13. Nair P. Anti-interleukin-5 monoclonal antibody to treat severe eosinophilic asthma. N Engl J Med. 2014 Sep 25;371(13):1249-51
  14. Nair P, Ochkur SI, Protheroe C, Radford K, Efthimiadis A, Lee NA, Lee JJ. Eosinophil peroxidase in sputum represents a unique biomarker of airway eosinophilia. Allergy 2013;DOI: 10.1111/all.12206.
  15. Nair P, Gaga M, Zervas E, et al. Safety and efficacy of a CXCR2 antagonist in patients with severe asthma and sputum neutrophils: a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Clin Exp Allergy 2012; 42: 1097-1103.
  16. Hargreave FE, Nair P. Is measuring sputum eosinophils useful in the management of severe asthma? Chest 2011; 139: 1270-3.
  17. Nair P, Pizzichini MM, Kjarsgaard M, Inman MD, Efthimiadis A, Pizzichini E, Hargreave FE, O'Byrne PM. Mepolizumab for prednisone-dependent asthma with sputum eosinophilia. N Engl J Med 2009 ;360:985-93.
  18. Hargreave FE, Nair P. The definition and diagnosis of asthma. Clin Exp Allergy 2009; 39:1652-8.
  19. Jayaram L, Pizzichini MM, Cook RJ, Boulet LP, Lemiere C, Pizzichini E, Cartier A, Hussack P, Goldsmith CH, Laviolette M, Parameswaran K, Hargreave FE. Determining asthma treatment by monitoring sputum cell counts: effect on exacerbations. Eur Respir J 2006;27:483-94.

Publications cited as Parameswaran K and Nair P

Team Members


  • Post-doctorate Fellows: Manali Mukherjee, Sarah Svenningsen, Terence Ho
  • Undergraduate: Mark Sorin, Nahid Rezaee, Margaret Kehinde
  • Technologists: Katherine Radford, Melanie Kjarsgaard, Nicola LaVigne, Chynna Huang, Jan Halbecki
  • Administrative Assistants: Lindsey Dyment

Previous Trainees

  • Post-doctoral Fellows: Liesel D'silva (India), John Brannan (Australia), Wendy Wong (Canada), Ahmad Alkhabaz (Kuwait), Marcos Ribeiro (Brazil), Angira Dasgupta (India), Adam Collison (Australia), Svetlana Davydchenko (Belarus), HuiFang Lim (Singapore), Eiman Al-Selahi (Kuwait), Hajar Alhayyan (Saudi Arabia)
  • Research Fellows: Nesreen Hassan (Egypt), Aleksander Kania (Poland), Bosco Lui (Canada), George Yuan (Canada), Naomi Spitale (Canada), Sindu Mohan (Canada), Fernando Aleman (Mexico), Amber Oberle (USA), Lisa Kim (Canada)
  • Master's Students: Adrian Fanat (Canada), Miki Peer (Canada), Elizabeth Simms (Canada), Amanda Giesler (Canada), Neha Punia (Canada), Afia Aziz-Ur-Rehman (Canada)
  • Undergraduate Students: Laura Cancelliere (Canada), Shannon Riley (Ireland), Susan Armstrong (Canada), Aoife Cox (Canada), Laura Zuccaro (Canada), Mark Monachino (Canada), Cara Pray (Canada), Bhavini Rajkumar (UK), Jennifer Cheng (Canada), Vishu Karthik (Canada), Jose Cano Eguez (Ecuador), Karin Plaza Lazo (Ecuador), Gayatri Nair (Canada)
  • Technologists: Jancy Stephen (Canada), Shauna Denis (Canada), Ann Efthimiadis (Canada), Brenda Helpard (Canada)

Key collaborators

Drs Sehmi, Cox, O'Byrne (Respirology); Dr Surette (Molecular Microbiology); Drs Bowdish, Richards, Stampfli (Immunology); Dr Trus (Hematology); Dr Brennan (Chemical Engineering); Drs Hamid, Baglole, Martin (McGill); Dr Boulet (Laval), Dr Lemiere (Montreal); Dr. Leigh (Calgary); Dr Parraga (Western); Dr Foster (Newcastle, Australia); Dr Lee (Mayo, Scottsdale, AZ)