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Prof Michael Marmot
UCL Institute of Health Equity, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health
1-19 Torrington Place
Prof Michael Marmot profile picture
  • Professorial Research Fellow
  • Institute of Epidemiology & Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

Sir Michael Marmot has been Professor of Epidemiology at University College London since 1985.  He is the author of The Health Gap: the challenge of an unequal world (Bloomsbury: 2015), and Status Syndrome: how your place on the social gradient directly affects your health (Bloomsbury: 2004). Professor Marmot is the Advisor to the WHO Director-General, on social determinants of health, in the new WHO Division of Healthier Populations.  He is a Distinguished Visiting Professorship at Chinese University of Hong Kong, and is the recipient of the WHO Global Hero Award.  Professor Marmot held the Harvard Lown Professorship for 2014-2017 and received Prince Mahidol Award for Public Health 2015. He has accepted honorary doctorates from 18 universities. Marmot has led research groups on health inequalities for nearly 50 years.  He chaired the Commission on Equity and Health Inequalities in the Americas, set up in 2015 by the World Health Organization’s Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO/ WHO).  He was Chair of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH), which was set up by the World Health Organization in 2005, and produced the report entitled: ‘Closing the Gap in a Generation’ in August 2008.  At the request of the British Government, he conducted the Strategic Review of Health Inequalities in England post 2010, which published its report 'Fair Society, Healthy Lives' in February 2010. This was followed by the European Review of Social Determinants of Health and the Health Divide, for WHO EURO in 2014, and in 2020 Health Equity in England: Marmot Review 10 Years On, and Build Back Fairer: the COVID-19 Marmot Review. http://www.instituteofhealthequity.org/


Research Summary

Marmot's research has been devoted to establishing the chain of disease causation from the social environment, through psychosocial influences, biological pathways, to risk of cardiovascular and other diseases. In studies of Japanese migrants to the USA and migrants to Britain from a number of countries, he showed that disease rates change. The longer the migrant has been in the new country, the more closely rates of disease resemble those of the new country. A specific object of investigation was the high rates of cardiovascular disease and diabetes among immigrants from the Indian subcontinent. This defied the usual explanations. Marmot showed it was related to the metabolic syndrome related to insulin resistance and the resultant lipid disturbances. This same set of biological mechanisms proved important to the inverse social gradient in cardiovascular disease in Britain. Marmot's studies of civil servants showed that the lower the status, the higher was the risk. Plasma fibrinogen and the metabolic syndrome mediate much of this excess risk. Marmot produced evidence linking low control at work to the increased risk of cardiovascular disease. He and his colleagues have good evidence that psychosocial stress pathways are involved in the metabolic disturbances observed. It is these pathways that provide the most promising explanation for the new phenomenon that they are investigating: the dramatic increase in cardiovascular disease and drop in life expectancy that occurred in Russia and other former communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe. A new thrust of the research is its application to an ageing population.

Teaching Summary

MSc UCLHealth and Society: Social Epidemiology, Social determinants of global health module;

MSc UCL Psychiatry ‘Mental health in social and global context’ module PSBS0012

MSc UCL Health Psychology module 5 'health inequalities'- IEHC0018

MSc Global Health & Development, 'Social determinants of health' Institute of Child Health 

MBBS UCL Year 1 'Understanding social causation'

MBBS UCL Year 4 'Inequalities in health: from research to policy'

BSc UCL Population Health 'Interventions III: social policy' 

NYU London 'Global Context for Health Equity'

UCL Health and Society Summer School, opening lecture and closing afternoon

01-JAN-2011 Director, UCL Institute of Health Equity Epidemiology & Public Health University College London, United Kingdom
01-JAN-2000 Adjunct Professor, Harvard University Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies Harvard School of Public Health, United States
01-JAN-1995 – 31-MAR-2013 MRC Research Professor in Epidemiology Epidemiology & Public Health University College London, United Kingdom
01-JAN-1985 Professor in Epidemiology & Public Health Epidemiology & Public Health University College London, United Kingdom
01-JAN-1980 Honorary Consultant in Public Health Medicine   General Medical Council, United Kingdom
Academic Background
1975   Doctor of Philosophy University of California - Berkeley
1972   Master of Public Health University of California - Berkeley
1968   Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery University of Sydney
1966   Bachelor of Science (Honours) University of Sydney
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