Prof Martin McKee

Professor of European Public Health

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
15-17 Tavistock Place
United Kingdom

Since my appointment to a substantive post at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 1990 I have developed a major research programme on health and health care in Europe, led one of the School’s largest Research Units, established the School’s first cross-departmental research centre, and contributed substantially to the restructuring of one of the School’s most successful MSc courses.

As Medical Director at LSHTM I have had lead responsibility for all matters related to the clinical aspects of contracts (including joint NHS contracts), appraisal, clinical excellence awards, and revalidation of approximately 140 medically qualified staff. This involves keeping up to date with the increasingly complex system of medical regulation in the UK (a topic on which I have written extensively vis a vis systems in other EU member states) and liaison with NHS employers.

In 2003 I received the Andrija Stampar medal, awarded by the Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region for distinguished contributions to public health in Europe, in 2005 I was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by HM Queen Elizabeth II for services to healthcare, and in 2014 I received the Alwyn Smith prize from the UK Faculty of Public Health for outstanding iDonabedian prize for contributions to quality in health care. In 2022/3 I was President of the British Medical Association.

My work is closely linked to policy, both through long term links with major funders and also through the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, of which I am director of research policy. This brings together the School, the London School of Economics, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, the European Investment Bank, the European Commission, and a number of European governments and universities. The Observatory is recognised as the principal source of information on healthcare reform in Europe. I am an author of several reports that have had a major impact on policy in the European Union (on the management of outbreaks of infectious disease that cross borders, the impact of EU law on health care, and the contribution of health to the economy in the EU). My work also links to policy through current or past membership of various advisory boards, including the Open Society (Soros) Foundations (former chair), in New York, the Evaluation Steering Group of the intergovernmental Baltic Sea Task Force, several committees of the European Regional Office of the WHO, including the European Advisory Committee on Health Research (former chair), the Task Force on Macroeconomics and Health, and the Health for All Renewal Think Tank. I am in my third term as a member of the European Commission’s Expert Panel on Effective Ways of Investing in Health. I have previously served as a member of one of the UK Government’s Foresight Programme task forces. I am, or have been, a member of numerous Lancet Commissions, including those on the NHS, the Trump administration (only non-North American), Liver Disease, Health and Human Rights, and Commercial Determinants of Health. In 2011 I chaired a review of the Chinese government’s health reforms at the request of the State Council. During the COVID pandemic I have served on the UK’s Independent Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (IndependentSAGE), the WHO Pan-European Commission on Health and Sustainable Development (chaired by former Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and where I am lead rapporteur and chair of the Scientific Advisory Board), and the Commission for a European Health Union (chaired by former EU Commsioner Vytenis Adriukaitis).


Department of Health Services Research and Policy
Faculty of Public Health and Policy


Centre for Evaluation
Centre for Global Chronic Conditions
Centre for Maternal Adolescent Reproductive & Child Health


I teach on a range of School courses and, between 1990 and 1993, I was course organiser for the MSc in Public Health. I was responsible for the conversion of the existing course into a new modular form as well as a marked expansion in student numbers. In the early 1990s I worked with colleagues in Hungary restructure public health training there. This included the award of major grants under the EU TEMPUS programme to introduce new curricula, including provision of training and supporting infrastructure, in each Hungarian medical university and close involvement with the development of the new, World Bank funded, Hungarian School of Public Health. In 2002 I designed a new introductory course on public heath, using a problem-based learning approach, which I subsequently published as a textbook for distance learning. This course consistently attracts excellent ratings from students and is frequently described as “inspiring”.


My main focus of research is on health in societies undergoing major social, political, and economic change. With my colleague, Prof David Leon, I created the largest team of researchers studying the health impact of the social and economic transition in central and eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Major contributions included the elucidation of the role of alcohol in the Russian mortality crisis, a quantification of the burden of disease due to injuries in this region, and important new insights on the role of nutrition in health (leading directly to inclusion of fruit and vegetable consumption in the 2002 round of the Global Burden of Disease study). I then studied the health impact of the post 2008 global financial crisis, with particular contributions to understanding the role of precarious living conditions (income, employment, housing and food) as a determinant of health and the protective role of active labour market policies. Most recently, I have published extensively on COVID, again looking at factors that strengthen or weaken the ability of communities to become resilient in the face of a severe threat.

I have published over 1,400 papers in peer-reviewed journals and written or edited 50 books. My lifetime H-Index is 179 (as at November 2023) and 127 for publications since 2018 and I have over 234,000 citations (Google Scholar). My research has also been recognised by the award of honorary doctorates from Greece, Hungary, Israel, The Netherlands, Sweden (2), and the United Kingdom, honorary membership of the Italian Society of Hygiene, Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences in the UK, membership of the US National Academy of Medicine and Academia Europaea, and several prestigious endowed lectureships in Europe, including the 1997 Ferenc Bojan Lecture (EUPHA), 2003 Sir Stanley Davidson lecture (Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh), 2004 Salvatore P. Lucia Lecture (UCSF), 2005 Milroy Lecture (Royal College of Physicians of London), 2006 DARE lecture (UK Faculty of Public Health), 2006 Cochrane Lecture (UK Society for Social Medicine), 2010 Victor Horsley lecture (British Medical Association), 2011 Hjelt lecture (University of Helsinki), 2011 Thackrah lecture (University of Leeds), 2012 Duncan lecture (City of Liverpool), 2014 Paul Noone lecture (NHS Consultants Association), 2015 Albert Neuberger lecture (Hebrew University, Jerusalem), 2016 Sandy Macara (BMA), Litchfield lecture (University of Oxford), 2016 Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy lecture, 2017 Dr Andrew Duncan lecture (Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh), Schornstein lecture (Barts), Teddy Chester lecture (University of Manchester, 2018), and the Southgate Oration (Flinders University, 2021). In 2014 I was named as the most productive researcher in global health systems research in a bibliometric study by Yao et al. Scientometric trends and knowledge maps of global health systems research. Health Research Policy and Systems 2014, 12:26. Since 2015 I have been included in the Thomson Reuters/ Web of Science/ Clarivate list of the top 1% most cited researchers across all disciplines worldwide.

Selected Publications

Who is absent and why? Factors affecting doctor absenteeism in Bangladesh.
Islam, MR; Angell, B; Naher, N; Islam, BZ; Khan, MH; MCKEE, M; Hutchinson, E; Balabanova, D; Ahmed, SM;
PLOS global public health
Under threat: the International AIDS Society-Lancet Commission on Health and Human Rights.
Beyrer, C; Kamarulzaman, A; Isbell, M; Amon, J; Baral, S; Bassett, MT; Cepeda, J; Deacon, H; Dean, L; Fan, L; Giacaman, R; Gomes, C; Gruskin, S; Goyal, R; Mon, SH H; Jabbour, S; Kazatchkine, M; Kasoka, K; Lyons, C; Maleche, A; Martin, N; MCKEE, M; Paiva, V; Platt, L; Puras, D; ... Rubenstein, L.
Lancet (London, England)
Power dynamics and participation within humanitarian coordination groups: A case study of the MHPSS Taskforce in Lebanon.
LOKOT, M; Zreik, T; El Masri, R; Chaar, S; Ali, R; Meksassi, B; Asmar, MK; MCKEE, M; ROBERTS, B; El Chammay, R;
PLOS Global Public Health
Guinea fowl eggshell structural analysis at different scales reveals how organic matrix induces microstructural shifts that enhance its mechanical properties.
Rodríguez-Navarro, AB; Domínguez-Gasca, N; Athanasiadou, D; Le Roy, N; González-Segura, A; Reznikov, N; Hincke, MT; MCKEE, MD; Checa, AG; Nys, Y; Gautron, J;
Acta biomaterialia
Relationship Between Social Support and Clinical Outcomes: An Evaluation of Participant-Nominated Treatment Supporters in the HOPE 4 Intervention.
Drakos, A; McCready, T; Lopez-Jaramillo, P; Islam, S; MCKEE, M; Yusuf, S; Schwalm, JD;
Circulation. Cardiovascular quality and outcomes
Social media as a determinant of health.
Purba, AK; Pearce, A; Henderson, M; MCKEE, M; Katikireddi, SV;
European journal of public health
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