Dr. Harissios Vliagoftis

Professor / Director

Department of Medicine

Division of Pulmonary Medicine
    Contact details are for academic matters only.

About Me

Personal Statement:

“More than 2.4 million Canadians are living with asthma, a chronic and frequently severe inflammatory lung disease. My research is primarily at the pre-clinical level and aims to identify the immune responses of lung cells allergens and other inflammatory stimuli relevant to asthma. My goal is to improve our understanding of the biological pathways leading to the development of allergies and asthma and then develop new diagnostic and/or therapeutic approaches targeting those pathways.”

Clinician-scientist Dr. Harissios Vliagoftis is widely recognized for his research and clinical activity in immunology, asthma and allergy. He actively contributes his expertise as a member of several leading journals’ editorial boards, grant reviewer and scientific advisor to lung health organizations, and a teacher and mentor for trainees at all levels of medical education. His research garners funding from major granting agencies and international industry partners. 

Leadership and Collaborations:

Dr. Vliagoftis is a core member of the Health Canada’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Respiratory and Allergy Therapies and of the Respiratory Health Strategic Clinical Network. He has served as director of the Department of Medicine’s Division of Pulmonary Medicine and Zone chief for pulmonary medicine. He is a board director with the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and member of the Core Committee of the Respiratory Health Strategic Clinical Network. He is also the former vice-chair of the Thoracic Network of Alberta & NWT, former member of the Board of the Lung Association of Alberta and NWT and former chair of the Canadian Allergy Asthma and Immunology Foundation Research Committee.


Dr. Vliagoftis teaches subjects relevant to allergy and immunology at all levels of trainees. He is involved in teaching of residents in Medicine and in Pulmonary Medicine, participates as an instructor to MED536/IMM436 (Inflammation) course and in MED514. He is also involved in the training of undergraduate and graduate students as well as postdoctoral fellows in the laboratory.


Dr. Vliagoftis devotes 75 percent of his time to research on the basic mechanisms underlying obstructive lung diseases such as asthma and the immunological responses of the airway epithelium to inhaled aeroallergens. Dr. Vliagoftis’ research is funded by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and he is the GSK/CIHR Chair in Airway Inflammation, a partnership between the University of Alberta, GlaxoSmithKline Inc. (GSK) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. He has completed funding from the former Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, the National Sanitarium Association, the Lung Association of Alberta and NWT and Sick Kids Foundation as well several industry partners. He has received the Research in Immunology Award from the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and the Award of Excellence from the Thoracic Network of Alberta & NWT.

Research Keywords

airway epithelium, Allergic inflammation, animal models, asthma, biomarkers, protease-activated receptors, proteases

Team Members

Nami Shrestha.        Research Associate

Nadia Daniels           PhD Student

Khadija Alzahrani.    PhD Student

Yahya Fiteih.            PhD Student

Chad Wu                 Technician