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Prof Michael Marmot
UCL Institute of Health Equity/ Research Department of Epidemiology and Public Health
1-19 Torrington Place
  • Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health
  • Epidemiology & Public Health
  • Institute of Epidemiology & Health
  • Faculty of Population Health Sciences
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.

Professor Marmot was Chair of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health set up by the World Health Organization in 2005: 'Closing the Gap in a Generation'. At the request of the British Government, he conducted a review of health inequalities in England, which published its report 'Fair Society, Healthy Lives' in February 2010.

Michael Marmot has also been invited by the Regional Director of WHO Euro to lead the European Review of Social Determinants of Health and the Health Divide, which will report in September 2012.  He has also agreed to chair the Breast Screening Review for the NHS National Cancer Action Team. In November 2011 Marmot launched the UCL Institute of Health Equity. The new Institute is supported by the Department of Health, UCL and the BMA. It will seek to increase health equity through action on the social determinants of health, specifically in four areas: by influencing global, national and local policies; by advising on and learning from practice; by building the evidence base, and; by developing capacity. For more information on the English and European Reviews and other projects that the Institute is involved with, please see http://www.instituteofhealthequity.org/

01-JAN-2011 Director, UCL Institute of Health Equity    , United Kingdom
01-JAN-2000 Adjunct Professor, Harvard University    , United Kingdom
01-JAN-1995 MRC Research Professor in Epidemiology    , 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    , United Kingdom
Academic Background
1975 PhD Doctor of Philosophy University of California - Berkeley
1972 MPH Master of Public Health University of California - Berkeley
1968 MBBS Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery University of Sydney
1966 BSc Hons Bachelor of Science (Honours) University of Sydney
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