Professor Kamlesh Khunti awarded CBE in New Year Honours 2022

Professor Kamlesh Khunti, Professor of Primary Care Diabetes and Vascular Medicine at the University of Leicester, has been made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to Health in the New Year’s Honours List 2022.

Professor Khunti’s pioneering research into COVID and health inequalities, and diabetes has contributed significantly to improving the health of ethnic minority communities. 

Having led a body of research throughout the pandemic, Professor Khunti became a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and Chair of the SAGE Ethnic Sub-panel. He was one of the very first clinicians to spot the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on people from ethnic minorities.

As co-director of the Leicester Diabetes Centre, Professor Khunti has been responsible for major advances in type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, having published more than 1,000 academic papers and has helped to build a significant evidence base to improve clinical practice.

Upon receiving his honour, Professor Kamlesh Khunti said: “I am truly humbled and I would like to dedicate the award to my team at the Leicester Diabetes Centre, my staff at the Hockley Farm Medical Practice, the University of Leicester and most of all to my family. 

“It is indeed a huge honour to be recognised in the New Year’s Honours List.”

Professor Nishan Canagarajah, President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Leicester said: “I am immensely proud of Kamlesh’s achievement and it is most highly deserved. 

“His dedication to improving health outcomes for some of the most hard to reach communities is admirable and he has worked tirelessly in his career to achieve so much.

“Kamlesh truly embodies our spirit as Citizens of Change, and I am delighted that he has received this honour in our Centenary year.”

Richard Mitchell, chief executive at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust said: “I would like to congratulate Kamlesh on his well-deserved honour. His research and direct patient care has improved the lives of so many, in particular those in ethnic minority communities.

“Kamlesh is an incredible colleague and the impact of his work has made, and continues to make, a remarkable difference.”

Professor Khunti began his career as a General Practitioner in 1990, recruiting his first research assistant in 1998. With increasing success, the team grew and Professor Khunti took up an appointment with the University of Leicester as Professor of Primary Care Diabetes and Vascular Medicine in 2007. 

Working alongside Professor Melanie Davies, Professor Khunti has built up the Leicester Diabetes Centre team with more than 170 people currently carrying out studies designed to improve the lives of people with diabetes. The Leicester Diabetes Centre is recognised across the world for its leading research, education and innovation. 

Professor Kamlesh Khunti is also the Director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) East Midlands and also the founding Director of the Centre for Ethnic Health Research and the University of Leicester Real World Evidence Unit.

He has been elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He is currently an advisor to the Department of Health, a Clinical Advisor for the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), and a member of the Primary Care Study Group of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD). 

In 2019, Professor Kamlesh Khunti was given the South Asian Health Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition for his outstanding contribution to South Asian health through cutting-edge research, which has influenced frontline diabetes care across the world.

Earlier this year, Professor Khunti also picked up a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Primary Care Diabetes Society (PCDS) in celebration of his outstanding accomplishments within diabetes care during his career.