Professor Lord (Ara) Darzi KBE

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Chairman, Institute of Global Health Innovation

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Ara Darzi is a world-renowned surgeon and head of Imperial College’s research team. They use scientific and engineering disciplines to make breakthroughs in medical image computing, minimally invasive and robot-assisted surgery. Professor Darzi believes that the time is coming when preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic services must be designed to individuals’ specific biomarkers. He considers the consequences, for providers and patients themselves.


Professor Lord Darzi is one of the world’s leading surgeons heading research and surgical teams at the Institute of Cancer Research, Imperial College London, and the Royal Marsden Hospital. He is hailed as a global authority in innovation in surgery, especially minimally invasive and robot-assisted surgery. Away from the operating theatre, he is also a leading political voice in healthcare and medicine as an active member of the Lords and formerly Under-Secretary at the Department of Health.

Moving from his home in Iraq to train in Dublin, Lord Darzi marked himself out as a brilliant and gifted surgeon and within four years of joining Imperial College he was appointed Chair of Surgery and Head of Department. His research focused on surgical best practice and improvements in safety and healthcare through innovation. He and his team have gained an international reputation for integrating new surgical techniques with robotics, communications and imaging technology, and biomedical engineering to make surgery easier, quicker, safer and less traumatic.

Upon becoming a Peer, Lord Darzi was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Health by Gordon Brown. Charged with a comprehensive review of the next decade of the NHS, his report was roundly welcomed with its focus on professionalism and accountability. He also led the policy of giving frontline health staff increased control over budgets and reported on the use of technology in improve surgery. He left his Under-Secretary role and was appointed Global Ambassador for Health and Life Sciences by David Cameron. He also served as Chair of NHS Global and as a UK Business Ambassador.

Returning to academic and clinical roles, Lord Darzi became Chairman of the Institute for Global Health Innovation at Imperial College with a remit to improve healthcare and reduce health inequality around the world working with international healthcare leaders from academia, industry and government.

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