Chance may have led Peter J. Barnes, MA, DM, DSc, Master FCCP, to respiratory medicine, but that chance decision led him to a long, accomplished career in respiratory research and education. More than 35 years ago, Dr Barnes faced an age-old dilemma: how to get a position without experience. After being turned down for research positions in endocrinology and gastroenterology, he was accepted into an asthma research project at Hammersmith Hospital. That first research opportunity sparked his enthusiasm and led to a lifetime career devoted to research and teaching in airway diseases. His findings have been instrumental in transforming the practice of chest medicine into its current state.