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The Faculty of Public Health has awarded its prestigious Alwyn Smith Prize to Professor Sir Peter Horby for 2020/2021 in recognition of his outstanding service to public health as a global leader in epidemic science.

Peter Horby

Professor Peter Horby is honoured for both his longstanding contribution to improving the treatment and control of epidemic infections and his more recent contribution to improving the treatment of COVID-19 through the RECOVERY trial.

In a letter to Prof. Horby, the FPH said he has gained international prominence, which reflects a career of experience and insight in epidemic response.

‘Your relentless focus on health inequities and your commitment to collaboration on public health research, whether at a local or global level, have resulted in an outstanding career and achievements.’

Peter Horby 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 nine treatments to date, and continues to test treatments in the UK and internationally.

When so many people have done so much in the last two years, I feel incredibly privileged to have been given this prestigious award. There are many lessons from the pandemic, but one that stands out for me is the absolutely central and essential role of public health specialists in protecting health and society. I hope that 2020 will be a watershed, marking a step change in the level of investment and recognition of the public health profession, not just in the UK but globally. Peter Horby

The full story is available on the University of Oxford website

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