Sir Harry Burns graduated in medicine in 1974 from the University of Glasgow.
In 1984, he was appointed Consultant Surgeon and in 1990, Medical Director, at the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow. Many of his patients lived in the east end of Glasgow and it was this insight to the complex inter-relationships between social and economic status, illness and recovery that began his lifelong focus to reduce health inequalities.
In 1994, he became Director of Public Health for Greater Glasgow and in 2005 he became Chief Medical Officer for Scotland. He was Knighted in 2011 and in 2014, the First Minister presented him with a lifetime achievement award for public service.
In April 2014 he became Professor of Global Public Health at the University of Strathclyde. He leads on a number of major, multi-agency projects and is a regular invited keynote speaker. He is a member of the Council of Economic Advisors; a member of Diabetes UK Board; Chair of the Wheatley Foundation and a member of Johnson & Johnson’s Impact Investment Advisory Committee.