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Martin Landray and Peter Horby

RECOVERY Chief Investigators, Professor Peter Horby and Professor Martin Landray, have today been honoured as part of Her Majesty the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. They are among a number of University of Oxford researchers to be honoured this year, many of whom have played key roles in leading the University’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Professor Horby becomes a Knight Bachelor for services to Medical Research. He said ‘I am delighted to receive this honour and indebted to my family, friends and colleagues for their immense support and inspiration throughout my career. I’m incredibly fortunate to work with brilliant, dedicated colleagues across the globe, who collaborate tirelessly to make the world a safer place.’ 

Professor Landray, who becomes a Knight Bachelor for services to Science and Public Health, said ‘It is a huge privilege to receive this honour for services to public health and science. It is wonderful to see our use of streamlined clinical trials to improve treatment of major causes of poor health recognised in this way. Guiding the RECOVERY trial of treatments for COVID-19 over this past year has been an extraordinary experience with important lessons for so many other conditions in the future. 

‘I am very grateful for this personal recognition – but I could not have done this alone. Medicine and science require collaboration and partnership. I am lucky to have had many truly inspirational mentors and outstanding colleagues, and I hope that all those who have supported me feel able to share in this recognition. My greatest thanks go to my wife and family who have shared this journey with me.’ 

Peter Horby is Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Global Health at the Nuffield Department of Medicine, and Director of the Pandemic Sciences Centre. Peter has led clinical and epidemiological research on a wide range of emerging and epidemic infections for almost two decades, including SARS, avian influenza (bird flu), Ebola, Lassa fever, monkeypox, and plague. 

During the very earliest days of COVID-19, he worked with colleagues in China to characterise the illness and test new treatments. He co-leads the RECOVERY trial, the largest randomised controlled trial of COVID-19 treatments in the world. The RECOVERY trial changed global treatment practices for COVID-19 three times in 100 days, has delivered results on eight treatments to date, and continues to test treatments in the UK and internationally. 

Peter is Director of the Pandemic Sciences Centre at the University of Oxford; Executive Director of the International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infections Consortium (ISARIC), and coordinator of the African coaLition for Epidemic Research, Response and Training (ALERRT). He is Chair of the UK Government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). 

Martin Landray is Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology in the Nuffield Department of Population Health, and Honorary Consultant Physician in the Department of Cardiology at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Martin works to further understand the determinants of common diseases through the design, conduct and analysis of efficient, large-scale clinical trials and prospective cohort studies. 

With Peter Horby, he co-leads the RECOVERY trial. In June 2020, they announced that dexamethasone, an inexpensive and widely available steroid, reduced the risk of death for patients with COVID-19. Dexamethasone became standard treatment across the NHS within hours and worldwide within just a few weeks. Since then, it is estimated to have saved hundreds of thousands of lives.  

Martin has also led a series of major clinical trials assessing treatments for cardiovascular and kidney disease. These have enrolled over 65,000 individuals, producing results that have modified drug licenses, influenced clinical guidelines and changed prescribing practice to the benefit of patients. He is internationally recognised for his work on better regulation of clinical trials, and also continues to practise clinical medicine as an Honorary Consultant Physician in the Department of Cardiology at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. 

Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, said ‘I am absolutely delighted by the recognition of our extraordinary colleagues who have worked so creatively and so tirelessly to develop a vaccine, and therapeutics, to protect us all from COVID-19. They and the teams that have supported them are saving lives around the world every day. We are all deeply proud of them.’ 

Visit the University of Oxford website for the full list of those recognised today.