Dr. Thillai graduated from St. Mary’s medical school in 2002 with his medical degree and a BA in medical journalism. He began his training as a junior doctor in London and Oxford where he gained Membership of the Royal College of Physicians. He was then appointed as the Infectious Diseases Fellow on the Map of Medicine project at NHS Connecting for Health and as Editor-in-Chief of Junior Dr magazine, before being awarded a personal Research Training Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust. This allowed him to undertake three years of scientific research into sarcoidosis which culminated in a PhD in Immunology and Proteomics from Imperial College London.

He continued his medical training in lung cancer, pulmonary vascular disorders and lung transplantation in Papworth and then in respiratory and general medicine at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. He subsequently completed an observership in sarcoidosis at the Cleveland Center in the USA before being appointed in 2015 as a Consultant within the Papworth Interstitial Lung Diseases Unit with a specific interest in sarcoidosis. He continues to attend a regular outpatient clinic at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and maintains ongoing research links with Imperial College London. He has been awarded a number of clinical and research prizes from societies including the Eastern Thoracic Society, Imperial College London and the National Heart and Lung Institute. He is the editor of five books, has written numerous book chapters and research papers in sarcoidosis and has given presentations at several international scientific meetings.

Specialist clinical interests

Investigation and management of Interstitial Lung Diseases including Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis, Sarcoidosis and other rare lung disorders.

Research interests

The identification of protein signatures specific to sarcoidosis to help develop new methods for diagnosis 

Education and training

1999 BA, Medical Journalism, University of Westminster
2002 MBBS, Imperial College London
2005 MRCP, Royal College of Physicians, London
2012 PhD, Imperial College London
2015 CCT in Respiratory and General Medicine

Current membership(s) of professional, national and regional bodies and university posts

Member of the Royal College of Physicians, London
Member of the British Medical Journalism Association
Member of the General Medical Council (registration number: 6056960)

Recent and important publications

- Books
Clinical tuberculosis: A practical handbook. Davies P, Lalvani A & Thillai M. Taylor and Francis Ltd. 2015 In Press

Pocket Tutor Understanding ABGs & Lung Function Tests. Thillai M & Hattotuwa K. JP Medical Ltd (ISBN-10: 19078160541 Nov 2010).

Royal Society of Medicine Career Handbook: ST3-Senior Doctor. Sritharan K  & Thillai M.  Hodder Arnold (ISBN-10: 1853159298, May 2012).

Royal Society of Medicine Career Handbook: FY1-ST2. Thillai M & Sritharan K.   Hodder Arnold (ISBN-10: 1853159271, April 2011).

Getting the Most from your ST1-3 Years. Thillai M & Sritharan K.   Medical Defence Union Press (July 2012)

 - Selected Book Chapters & Research Papers
Aeitiology of sarcoidosis.  Thillai M; Wickremasinghe M; Lalvani A; Moller D; Mitchell D. Sarcoidosis. Mitchell D (ed); Wells AU (ed); Spiro S (ed); Moller D (ed). Hodder Arnold (ISBN-10: 0340992115, February 2012).

 Thillai M & Lalvani A. Sarcoidosis. Mitchell D (ed); Wells AU (ed); Spiro S (ed); Moller D (ed). Interferon gamma release assays for use in diagnosis of sarcoidosis.Hodder Arnold (ISBN-10: 0340992115, February 2012).

Thillai M; Lalvani A; Mitchell D. Sarcoidosis. Mitchell D (ed); Wells AU (ed); Spiro S (ed); Moller D (ed). The Kveim test in sarcoidosis. Hodder Arnold (ISBN-10: 0340992115, February 2012).

Moller D; Thillai M; Lalvani A; Mitchell D. Sarcoidosis. Mitchell D (ed); Wells AU (ed); Spiro S (ed); Moller D (ed). Immunology of sarcoidosis. Hodder Arnold (ISBN-10: 0340992115, February 2012).

Respiratory tract diseases. Thillai M.  Intellectual Disability and Ill Health.  O'Hara J (ed); McCarthy J (ed); Bouras N (ed). Cambridge Univ Pr (ISBN-10: 0521728894, 26 Feb 2010).

Lalvani A; Thillai M. Diagnosis of latent tuberculosis: A 100 year update. Horizons in medicine. Mathieson P (ed). Royal College of Physicians. (ISBN-10: 1860163432, 20 Dec 2008).

Thillai M, Pollock K, Pareek M, Lalvani A. Interferon gamma release assays for TB, current and future applications. Expert Rev Respir Med. 2014 Feb;8(1):67-78. doi: 10.1586/17476348.2014.852471.

Thillai M & Powrie D. Quality Improvement in respiratory medicine: Designing and implementing a bronchoscopy checklist. BMJ Qual Improv Report 2013;2: doi:10.1136

 Thillai M, Eberhardt C, Lewin AM, Potiphar L, Hingley-Wilson S, Sridhar S, Macintyre J, Kon OM, Wickremasinghe M, Wells AU, Weeks ME, Mitchell D, Lalvani A. Sarcoidosis and tuberculosis cytokine profiles: indistinguishable in bronchoalveolar lavage but different in blood. PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e38083.

Thillai M, Potiphar L, Eberhardt C, Pareek M, Dhawan R, Kon OM, Wickremasinghe M, Wells AU, Mitchell D, Lalvani A. Obstructive lung function in sarcoidosis may be missed, especially in older white patients. Eur Respir J. 2012 Mar;39(3):775-7.

A. Lalvani & M. Thillai. Diagnosis of tuberculosis: principles and practice of using Interferon-gamma release assays. Breathe 2009; 5: 302-309