Michael Marmot

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Professor Sir Michael Marmot
Michael Marmot.jpg
Born Michael Gideon Marmot
(1945-02-26) 26 February 1945 (age 70)[1]
London, England
Alma mater
Thesis Acculturation and Coronary Heart Disease in Japanese-Americans (1975)
Known for
Notable awards
Spouse Alexandra Naomi Ferster[1]

Sir Michael Gideon Marmot, FBA, FMedSci, FRCP (born 26 January 1945)[1] is Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

Early life and education[edit]

Marmot was born in London, England. He moved to Australia as a young child,[4] attending Sydney Boys High School (1957-1961)[12] and graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree from the University of Sydney in 1968. He earned an Master of Public Health in 1972[citation needed] and a PhD in 1975 from the University of California, Berkeley for research into Acculturation and Coronary Heart Disease in Japanese Americans.[13]


Summary of Career Achievements to Date (Aug 2015)[edit]

Currently Director of The UCL Institute of Health Equity [1], 'Professor 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 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 AKA The Marmot Review 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 and will serve as President of the World Medical Association for 2015-16.

Watch an interview with Professor Marmot from the Conversations with history series.


Marmot conducted ground-breaking studies of heart disease and stroke, comparing Japanese people in Japan (high stroke rates, low heart attack rates) with those in Hawaii and California, where, especially in later generations, the disease patterns became reversed after adopting lifestyle, stress and diet changes.[13] He has more recently led the Whitehall Studies of British civil servants, again focusing on heart disease and other disease patterns. His department includes the MRC National Survey of Health & Development, a longitudinal study directed by Professor Michael Wadsworth of people born in Britain in 1946 and followed up since. There are 120 other academic staff in the department.[14][15][16][17][18]

He has worked closely with the Office for National Statistics and its predecessor the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys, and especially with Abraham Manie Adelstein and John Fox.

Sir Michael Marmot has a special interest in inequalities in health and their causes and has been a government advisor in seeking to identify ways to mitigate them. He served on the Scientific Advisory Group of the Independent Inquiry into Inequalities in Health chaired by Sir Donald Acheson, the former UK chief medical officer. This reported in November 1998. In 2000 he was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen for services to Epidemiology and understanding health inequalities. Internationally acclaimed, Professor Marmot is a Vice President of the Academia Europaea, a Foreign Associate Member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), and the Chair of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health set up by the World Health Organization in 2005. 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. [19] In 2008 he became Doctor Honoris Causa of the Université Libre de Bruxelles.

In The Status Syndrome: How your social standing directly affects your health and life expectancy, he argues that socio-economic position is an important determinant for health outcomes. This result holds even if we control for the effects of income, education and risk factors (such as smoking) on health. The causal pathway Marmot identifies concerns the psychic benefits of "being in control" of one's life. Autonomy in this sense is related to our socio-economic position. Based on comparative studies, Marmot argues that we can make our society more participatory and inclusive in order to increase overall public health.

In 2008, Marmot appeared in Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?,[6] an American documentary series examining the social determinants of health that drew heavily from Marmot's work on the Whitehall Studies.

On 6 November 2008, Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced that the Secretary of State for Health Alan Johnson had asked Sir Michael Marmot to chair a Review of Health Inequalities in England to inform policy making to address health inequalities from 2010. The Review was announced at the launch of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health report Closing the Gap in a Generation.

The European Office of the WHO is commissioning a European Review on the Social Determinants of Health and the Health Divide. The Review will be conducted by a Consortium of experts/institutions chaired by Professor Sir Michael Marmot.

The purpose of the review will be to identify the relevance of the findings of the WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health (CSDH), the Strategic Review of Health Inequalities in England post 2010 (Marmot Review), and other new evidence to the European context and specificity and translate these into policy proposals.

It will feed into the development of a renewed European Regional Health Policy and contribute to specific aspects of the policy especially where it relates to the social determinants of health. Marmot's research has been funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Medical Research Council (MRC).[20]

Awards and honours[edit]

Below is a list of Awards, Honours and Distinctions

  • 2013 Irish Cancer Society, Charles Cully Lecture & Memorial Award
  • 2013 Honarary Fellow, Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • 2013 Honorary Member, Swiss Academy of Humanities & Social Sciences
  • 2013 President, British Lung Foundation
  • 2012 Doctor Honoris Causa Malmo University
  • 2012 Annual Balzan Lecture
  • 2012 Doctor of Science Honoris Causa Northumbria University
  • 2012 Trustee, Early Intervention Foundation
  • 2012 Ferguson-Glass Oration, Australasian Faculty of Occupational & Environmental Medicine
  • 2012 Priscilla Kincaid Smith Oration, Royal Australasian College of Physicians
  • 2012 Lifetime Award Fellowship Eur Academy of Occupational Health Psychology
  • 2012 Founder member, Council for Defence of British Universities
  • 2012 Patron of Medsin-UK
  • 2012 European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology Fellowship
  • 2011 Green Templeton College Foundation Dinner, guest speaker
  • 2011 Ambuj Nath Bose Prize, Royal College of Physicians
  • 2011 Doctor Honoris Causa, Ghent University - nominated
  • 2011 Doctor Honoris Causa, Universidad Peruana Cayetano
  • 2011 Medal of City of Lima, awarded by Mayor of Lima
  • 2011 The Glasgow Lecture, University of Glasgow
  • 2011 Sir Liam Donaldson Lecture and Medal, Health Protection Agency
  • 2011 Ernestine Henry Lecture, Faculty of Occupational Medicine, UK
  • 2011 Malcolm Peterson Honor Lecture, Society of General Internal Medicine, USA
  • 2011 Doctor Honoris Causa, Trinity College Dublin
  • 2011 Fellow, Association for Psychological Medicine
  • 2011 Honorary Fellow, Faculty of Public Health of the Royal College of Physicians
  • 2011 Honorary Member, International Association for Dental Research
  • 2011 Corresponding Member, Belgian Royal Academy of Science (KAGB)
  • 2011 Avedis Donabedian International Foundation Award
  • 2010 Manchester Doubleday Award, Manchester School of Medicine
  • 2010 Jenner Medal, Royal Society of Medicine
  • 2010 Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Stockholm
  • 2010 Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Helsinki
  • 2010 Disting. H. Lyman Hooker Visiting Professor, McMasters University
  • 2010-11 President, British Medical Association
  • 2009 Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Montreal
  • 2009 Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Athens
  • 2009 Sir George Pickering Lecture, British Hypertension Society
  • 2009 Francisco Balmis Lecture, National Inst. of Public Health, Mexico
  • 2008 Honorary Fellow, British Academy
  • 2008 Honorary Fellow, Royal Society for Public Health
  • 2008 Tore Andersson Award in Epidemiological Research, Karolinska Institutet,
  • 2008 Doctor Honoris Causa, Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • 2008 Honorary Fellow, British Academy
  • 2008 William B. Graham Prize for Health Services Research
  • 2008 Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada McLaughlin-Gallie Visiting Professor
  • 2007 Lewis A. Conner Memorial Lecture, American Heart Association
  • 2007 Centre for Disease Control (CDC) Foundation Hero Award
  • 2007 Charles C. Shepard Science Awards Ceremony (CDC, Atlanta)
  • 2007 Royal College of Physicians DARE lecture
  • 2007 R. C. Geary Lecture, Economic and Social Research Inst, Dublin
  • 2007 John F Wilkinson Memorial Lecture, Manchester Medical Society
  • 2006 Guest Lecturer The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
  • 2006 Winner BMA Book Awards 2006 (Public Health)
  • 2006 Jorma Rantanen Lecture and Award, Helsinki
  • 2006 Harveian Oration, Royal College of Physicians
  • 2006 Harold Hatch Lecture, International Longevity Centre
  • 2006 Doctor of Medicine honoris causa, University of Sydney
  • 2005 Visiting professorship, Case University, Ohio
  • 2005 Marjorie Coote lecture, University of Sheffield
  • 2005 Honorary Member, British Cardiac Society
  • 2004 Balzan Prize for Epidemiology
  • 2004 Alwyn Smith Prize Medal for distinguished service to public health, Faculty of Public Health
  • 2004 St Cyres Lecture, British Cardiac Society
  • 2004 Bisset Hawkins Trust Medal, Royal College of Physicians
  • 2003 Visiting Fellow Commoner, Trinity College, Cambridge
  • 2003 Beveridge Lecture, Royal Statistical Society
  • 2003 Frederick H. Epstein Memorial Lecture, 43rd American Heart Association Conference, Miami
  • 2002 Decade of Behaviour Distinguished Speaker, Gerontological Society of America
  • 2002 Foreign Associate Membership, IOM, National Academy of Sciences
  • 2002 Visiting Fellow, National Centre for Social Research
  • 2002 Patricia B Barchas Award, American Psychosomatic Society

Personal life[edit]

Marmot is married to Alexandra Naomi Ferster, and has two sons and a daughter and lives in Hampstead, London.[citation needed]

Selected bibliography[edit]



  1. ^ a b c "MARMOT, Prof. Sir Michael (Gideon)". Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2014; online edn, Oxford University Press. (subscription required)
  2. ^ Marmot, Michael Gideon. "Professor Sir". www.instituteofhealthequity.org. Department of Health. Retrieved August 2010. 
  3. ^ Whitehall Study II at UCL site
  4. ^ a b Michael Marmot interviewed by Kirsty Young on BBC Desert Island Discs 2014-07-06
  5. ^ Michael Marmot's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database, a service provided by Elsevier.
  6. ^ a b Michael Marmot at the Internet Movie Database
  7. ^ Torjesen, I (2014). "Low paid workers are not paid enough to live healthily, Marmot says". BMJ (Clinical research ed.) 348: g1939. doi:10.1136/bmj.g1939. PMID 24594545. 
  8. ^ Kiefer, B (2010). "Health according to Michael Marmot". Revue medicale suisse 6 (238): 480. PMID 20345002. 
  9. ^ Marmot, M (2008). "Michael Marmot on eliminating social injustice". The Health service journal: 15. PMID 19018626. 
  10. ^ Boseley, S (2008). "Michael Marmot: Leader in the social determinants of health". The Lancet 372 (9650): 1625. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(08)61675-X. PMID 18994652. 
  11. ^ List of publications from Microsoft Academic Search
  12. ^ http://www.shsobu.org.au/wp-content/uploads/imperial-honours.pdf
  13. ^ a b Marmot, Michael Gideon (1975). Acculturation and Coronary Heart Disease in Japanese-Americans (PhD thesis). University of California, Berkeley. 
  14. ^ Marmot, M. G.; Smith, G. D.; Stansfeld, S; Patel, C; North, F; Head, J; White, I; Brunner, E; Feeney, A (1991). "Health inequalities among British civil servants: The Whitehall II study". Lancet 337 (8754): 1387–93. doi:10.1016/0140-6736(91)93068-k. PMID 1674771. 
  15. ^ "Intersalt: An international study of electrolyte excretion and blood pressure. Results for 24 hour urinary sodium and potassium excretion. Intersalt Cooperative Research Group". BMJ (Clinical research ed.) 297 (6644): 319–28. 1988. doi:10.1136/bmj.297.6644.319. PMC 1834069. PMID 3416162. 
  16. ^ McKeigue, P. M.; Shah, B; Marmot, M. G. (1991). "Relation of central obesity and insulin resistance with high diabetes prevalence and cardiovascular risk in South Asians". Lancet 337 (8738): 382–6. doi:10.1016/0140-6736(91)91164-p. PMID 1671422. 
  17. ^ Hemingway, H; Marmot, M (1999). "Evidence based cardiology: Psychosocial factors in the aetiology and prognosis of coronary heart disease. Systematic review of prospective cohort studies". BMJ (Clinical research ed.) 318 (7196): 1460–7. doi:10.1136/bmj.318.7196.1460. PMC 1115843. PMID 10346775. 
  18. ^ Marmot, MG (1997). "Contribution of job control and other risk factors to social variations in coronary heart disease incidence". The Lancet 350 (9073): 235–239. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(97)04244-X. 
  19. ^ "New Years Honours List – United Kingdom". The London Gazette. 55710: 2. 1999-12-30. 
  20. ^ UK Government grants awarded to Michael Marmot via Research Councils UK

Media related to Michael Marmot at Wikimedia Commons