Eight National Key Disciplines
Department of Respiratory Medicine

Department of Respiratory Disease has well-considered and standardized diagnostic and therapeutic plans for such common illnesses of the respiratory system as COPD, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary heart disease, bronchial asthma, lung cancer, lung infection, respiratory failure, and interstitial lung disease. It is in a nationally leading position in the research of the etiology, early diagnosis, effect prediction, and individualized therapy of these diseases. It also has accumulated rich experiences in rescuing critical cases, and has its unique style in the diagnosis and treatment of complicated and difficult cases.

The Department of Respiratory Medicine of Tongji Hospital, affiliated to Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST), was established in 1946 in Shanghai and moved to Wuhan with the Medical College in 1952. The College was authorized, among the first group of institutions, to confer master’s and doctor’s degrees in respiratory medicine in 1978 and 1981 respectively. In 1992, the Department, together with other 4 departments such as the Department of Pathophysiology and Department of Pathology, was authorized to be the Key Laboratories of Respiratory Diseases by the Ministry of Health of China. In 2001, the Research Institute of Respiratory Diseases of Tongji Medical College, HUST was established, and in the same year, the Internal Medicine (respiratory diseases) was chosen to be the key subject discipline by the Ministry of Education in China.

The former academic leaders included Professor Duan Shengfu and Professor Zhang Zhenxiang. Professor Duan was ever the vice-chairman of the Chinese Society of Respiratory Diseases under Chinese Medical Association and vice editor-in-chief of the Chinese Journal of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases; Professor Zhang was a member of the standing committee of the Chinese Society of Respiratory Diseases, leader of COPD Group and editor of the Chinese Journal of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases. Professor Xu Yongjian, the present academic leader, is vice-chairman of the Chinese Society of Respiratory Diseases, leader of COPD Group, vice-chairman of the Chinese Association of Chest Physicians under the Chinese Medical Doctor Association, vice editor-in-chief of the Chinese Journal of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases, director of the key laboratory of respiratory diseases under Ministry of Health, director of the Respiratory Diseases Research Institute of Tongji Medical College, HUST, and academic leader of internal medicine (respiratory diseases). Since the early 1980s, the Department has participated in compiling teaching materials for national medical colleges.

Since the 1970s, our researches have been focused on the basic research, epidemiology, prevention and control of COPD, hypoxic pulmonary hypertension, and pulmonary heart disease. We have undertaken key scientific and technological tasks in the seventh, eighth and ninth “Five-Year Plan” of China, and obtained great achievements in relevant fields. One thing to be noted is, in 1991, the Department set up a prevention and control base of COPD in Haokou Town, Qianjiang City, Hubei Province; the base covers 25,000 people and plays an important role in formulating prevention and control principles of COPD and pulmonary heart disease and collecting epidemiological data of the diseases. In addition, the Department has conducted many fundamental and clinical researches on the pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of bronchial asthma, sleep and lung cancer. Tens of projects have been carried out by the Department, including cooperation projects with World Health Organization, projects funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and key clinical projects under the Ministry of Health; More than ten important achievements were made, some of which were awarded the first prize in scientific and technological progress of the Ministry of Health, the second prize of the Ministry of Education, or the second prize of Hubei Province.

The Department has 24 doctors, 18 (75%) are professors or associate professors and 14 with doctor’s degree. Professor Zhao Jianping is the current director of the Department, Professor Liu Huiguo and Professor Liu Xiansheng are deputy directors. The Department has 3 wards, 120 beds (including 10 RICU beds) and the almost all sets of most advanced equipment of RICU.

The Department, an academic component of the nation’s first class medical college, is dedicated to achieving the highest standard of patient care, basic science and clinical research, and medical education. Over the years, the Department has expanded to include pulmonary medicine, critical care, allergy and immunology as well as sleep. The laboratory of the Department is well-equipped and open to outside researchers. The laboratory offers specialized lab tests and accessory tests such as pulmonary function test, and handles most experiments independently in such areas as respiratory pathology, pathophysiology and respiratory molecular biology.