Imperial College London

Japanese government honours Lord Darzi


Lord Darzi

The Director of Imperial’s Institute of Global Health Innovation (IGHI) has received one of Japan’s most prestigious awards.

Professor the Lord (Ara) Darzi of Denham received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, in recognition of his contributions to global health and the development of medicine in Japan 

One of the nation’s oldest and highest national decorations, it is awarded by the Emperor of Japan to non-Japanese citizens who have made outstanding contributions to their field. 

Lord Darzi said: “It is a great privilege to receive this honour from Japan, a country I hugely admire.” 

Imperial and Japan have been connected for more than a century, and our ties are stronger than ever today.

Global health innovation 

Lord Darzi in surgery
Lord Darzi in surgery

Lord Darzi has served as Director of the IGHI since 2010 and has transformed the Institute with a focus on driving innovation in healthcare. His career has focussed on achieving best surgical practice through innovation in surgery and enhancing patient safety and the quality of healthcare. 

He is globally renowned for leading the development of minimally-invasive surgery, as well as pioneering the development of robotic techniques to facilitate medical operations. Through this field of work he has worked to enhance the scientific partnership between Japan and the United Kingdom with his involvement with a number of academic institutions and the Ministry of Health.   

Lord Darzi hosted the first Global Ministerial Summit on Patient Safety at Imperial in 2016, which placed patient safety high on the global agenda. In 2018, Lord Darzi opened the third summit in Tokyo, hosted by the Government of Japan, and ministers signed the Tokyo Declaration committing to “high level political momentum” towards the delivery of safer care everywhere. 

Lord Darzi has previously been recognised for his efforts in global health, having been awarded the Qatari Sash of Independence in 2014 by His Highness the Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani , and the Order of Honour by the President of Armenia in 2017. 

Professor Ara Darzi with Reuters journalist Wa Lone outside Insein Prison
Professor Ara Darzi with Reuters journalist Wa Lone outside Insein Prison

Lord Darzi is the Executive Chair of the World Innovation Health Summit, an initiative dedicated to capturing & disseminating the best evidence-based ideas and practices in global healthcare. 

In 2002 he was knighted for his services to medicine and surgery he and has been a member of the House of Lords since 2007. He served as Labour minister of health from 2007-9. Lord Darzi served as the UK’s Global Ambassador for Health and Life Sciences from 2009-13. In 2014 he was awarded the Order of Merit by the Queen. 

Recently, Lord Darzi helped negotiate the release of two Reuters journalists in Myanmar, who had been held since December 2017 after they reported on the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims.


Deborah Evanson

Deborah Evanson
Communications and Public Affairs

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