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Prof Michael Marmot
UCL Institute of Health Equity, 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 Pop Health Sciences

Sir Michael Marmot has led research groups on health inequalities for over 35 years.  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 a 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.  He chaired the Breast Screening Review for the NHS National Cancer Action Team and was a member of The Lancet-University of Oslo Commission on Global Governance for Health.  He is a Principal Investigator of the Whitehall II Studies of British Civil Servants, investigating explanations for the striking inverse social gradient in morbidity and mortality. He leads the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) and is engaged in several international research efforts on the social determinants of health.  He served as President of the British Medical Association (BMA) in 2010-2011, and is the new President of the British Lung Foundation.  He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, an Honorary Fellow of the British Academy, and an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal College of Physicians.  He was a member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution for six years and in 2000 he was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen, for services to epidemiology and the understanding of health inequalities.  Internationally acclaimed, Professor Marmot is a Foreign Associate Member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), and a former Vice President of the Academia Europaea.  He won the Balzan Prize for Epidemiology in 2004, gave the Harveian Oration in 2006, and won the William B. Graham Prize for Health Services Research in 2008.  Professor Marmot has been awarded a Harvard Lowns Professorship for 2014-2017. He is President-Elect of the World Medical Association and will take up the role of President of the WMA in 2015.


Follow us on twitter - @TheMarmotReview

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

1975-76   Epidemiology of non-communicable disease, University of California, Berkeley

1976-84   MSc Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine -one of a small group who developed a new Masters course in Epidemiology

1977-86   Teacher, and member of  International Society and Federation of Cardiology Planning Committee, Planning of 10-day international seminar on cardiology and prevention of CVD

 1984-2011 Head of Department, Epidemiology and Public Health, Royal Free and University College Medical School, 

 1984- PhD Supervisor Royal Free and University College Medical School Supervisor of numerous PhDs in Dept of Epidemiology & Public Health

 2004-, MSc Health and Society: Social Epidemiology, Social determinants of global health module


2011-, BASc, Health inequality: the social disease module


2011- , UCL MBBS Social Determinants of Health module

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 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Epidemiology University of California - Berkeley
1972 MPH Master of Public Health – Epidemiology University of California - Berkeley
1968 MBBS Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery – Clinical Medicine University of Sydney
1966 BSc Hons Bachelor of Science (Honours) – Medicine University of Sydney
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