Sir Michael is chairman of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (since December 2014). He is a clinical pharmacologist and specialist in internal medicine. He was professor of clinical pharmacology in Newcastle, and physician at the Newcastle Hospitals, from 1999-2006.
He was chairman of the Committee on Safety of Medicines (1992-1998), chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (1998-2008) and founding chairman of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (1999-2013). He is recent past president of the Royal Society of Medicine (2012-2014). Currently Sir Michael is chairman of UK Biobank, honorary professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and emeritus professor at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
Sir Michael Rawlins was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE) in 2017. The honour is for services to the safety of medicines, healthcare and innovation and comes after more than three decades at the forefront of innovation, development and leadership in the public health sector.
The chair is appointed by the Secretary of State for the Department of Health and has particular responsibility for providing effective strategic leadership of the agency.