Dr Richard Horton OBE FMedSci FRCPCH was born in London and qualified in medicine from the University of Birmingham in 1986. He completed his general medical training in Birmingham before moving to the liver unit at the Royal Free Hospital. In 1990, he joined The Lancet as an assistant editor and moved to New York as North American editor in 1993. Two years later he returned to the UK to become Editor-in-Chief.
He was the first President of the World Association of Medical Editors and is a previous President of the US Council of Science Editors. He is an honorary professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University College London, and the University of Oslo. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and a Founder Fellow of the UK’s Academy of Medical Sciences. In 2013, he was elected an honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
In 2005 he was a member of the working party and subsequently wrote the report for the Royal College of Physicians’ inquiry into the future of medical professionalism – Doctors in Society. He also chaired the Royal College of Physicians’ Working Party on Physicians and the Pharmaceutical Industry; co-chaired a WHO Scientific Advisory Group on Clinical Trials Registration; was a Council Member of the Global Forum for Health Research and the UK’s Academy of Medical Sciences; chaired the Board of the Health Metrics Network; sat on the External Reference Group for WHO’s Research Strategy; and is an External Advisory Board Member for the WHO European Region. Currently, he co-chairs the independent Expert Review Group on Women’s and Children’s Health, reporting to the UN Secretary-General. He is also a Council member of the University of Birmingham.
In 2004, The Lancet won UK Medical Publication of the Year and, in 2007, he received the Edinburgh Medal for professional achievements judged to have made a significant contribution to the understanding of human health and wellbeing. In 2008, he was appointed a Senior Associate of The Nuffield Trust, a think tank for research and policy studies in health services. In 2012, he was elected a Foreign Associate of the US Institute of Medicine. He has a strong interest in issues of global health. He has been a medical columnist for The Observer and writes regularly for the Times Literary Supplement and New York Review of Books. A book about controversies in modern medicine, Second Opinion, was published in 2003.