Imperial College London

Lord Ara Darzi awarded honorary degree from Oxford University

by ,

Picture of the honorary degree recipients at the University of Oxford

John Carnes, University of Oxford

The Co-director of Imperial’s Institute of Global Health Innovation received an honorary degree yesterday at an annual ceremony in Oxford.

Professor the Lord Ara Darzi of Denham was awarded the degree by the University of Oxford together with nine other recipients. The degree is a Degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, awarded in recognition of his services to medicine and his contribution to public life.

The university also awarded degrees to Sir Lenny Henry CBE, a British award-winning actor, comedian, and television presenter; Dr Jane Lubchenco, one of the world’s foremost and highly cited ecologists; and Professor Susan Solomon, a world-leader in atmospheric science.

Lord Darzi said, “I am both honoured and humbled to be among a remarkable group of individuals to be awarded honorary degrees this year.”

"I am both honoured and humbled to be among a remarkable group of individuals to be awarded honorary degrees this year." Lord Ara Darzi Institute of Global Health Innovation

Professor Dame Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, and Chair of the Committee on Honorary Degrees, said: "We are delighted to have this opportunity to recognise and to celebrate the myriad accomplishments of our nine distinguished honorands across a wide range of fields. Together they have enlightened us, entertained us, and improved the lives of people around the world."

Lord Darzi expressed his gratitude for the support he has received over the years: “I would like to take this moment to thank everyone who has played their part in the journey that has led me here today. This honour recognises the work that we have done together over many years.”

A legacy to global health innovation

In his role as Co-Director of IGHI, one of Imperial’s global challenge institutes, Lord Darzi leads a large, multidisciplinary team across an impactful portfolio of academic and policy research, driving the adoption of innovation across international healthcare systems, while championing high-quality care. He is also Co-Director of the NHS Digital Academy which trains NHS leaders with skills to lead the NHS into a digital future.

Most recently he has led national and international research in response to COVID-19, including the REACT programme, one of the largest and most comprehensive studies of its kind which monitored England’s epidemic to guide public health decision-making.

"We are delighted to have this opportunity to recognise and to celebrate the myriad accomplishments of our nine distinguished honorands across a wide range of fields." Professor Dame Louise Richardson University of Oxford

His research portfolio focuses on convergence science across engineering, physical and data sciences, specifically in the areas of robotics, sensing, imaging, and digital and AI technologies. He has published over 1000 peer-reviewed research papers to-date, developing his status as a leading voice in the field of global health policy and innovation.

Through this ever-growing research portfolio, Lord Darzi has extraordinary global reach. He is the Executive Chair of the World Innovation Health Summit an initiative dedicated to capturing and disseminating the best evidence-based ideas and practices in global healthcare, now in its 6th iteration.

In recognition of his long-standing achievements in surgical innovation, he has been elected Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and in 2013 was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society. He was Knighted for services to medicine and surgery in 2002 and was appointed to the House of Lords in 2007.

Towards high quality care for all

In 2008, while Health Minister he produced the seminal report High Quality Care for All, a widescale review of the NHS to develop a vision of an NHS fit for the 21st century. This was followed by the Better Health and Care for all report in 2018, created in partnership with the Institute of Public Policy, which aimed to examine and reform the quality and funding of healthcare within the NHS.

In addition to research and health policy work, Lord Darzi holds several national roles in healthcare such as the Chair of the NHS Accelerated Access Collaborative, NHS England Board Member and Member of the Life Sciences Council.

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

He also is passionate about humanitarian work and is Chair of the Selection Committee for the Aurora Prize, which awards a cash prize annually to an individual whose actions have had an exceptional impact on preserving human life and advancing humanitarian causes. In 2019, Lord Darzi helped to 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.

New areas of interest for Lord Darzi include the emerging field of preemptive health and medicine which he is exploring through his role as chairman of an initiative at Boston-based innovation institution Flagship Pioneering.

Reporters

Meesha Patel

Meesha Patel
Institute of Global Health Innovation

Click to expand or contract

Contact details

Email: meesha.patel17@imperial.ac.uk

Show all stories by this author

Laura Gallagher

Laura Gallagher
Communications Division

Click to expand or contract

Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 6701
Email: l.gallagher@imperial.ac.uk

Show all stories by this author

Tags:

Global-challenges-Health-and-wellbeing
See more tags