Sir Graeme Catto, MB ChB (Hons)


Graeme Catto is a Scottish physician. After graduating MB ChB with honours from the University of Aberdeen, he obtained an MD (Hons) before being awarded a Harkness Fellowship from the Commonwealth Fund of New York to study medicine and immunology at Harvard University and the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Massachusetts. Returning to Scotland with a particular interest in clinically relevant research and teaching, he became a consultant physician/nephrologist, Professor of Medicine and then Chief Scientist at the Scottish Health Department. His research studies on the immunology of renal transplantation, renal bone disease and chronic renal failure resulted in original publications and a renal unit that provided good quality clinical care. Always focused on improving patient care and the student experience, he was Dean and Vice-Principal, first at the University of Aberdeen and subsequently at King’s College London, where he was awarded a

fellowship and life membership of the Students’ Union. At King’s, the emphasis was on integrating the various components – Guy’s Hospital, the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College Hospital and St. Thomas’ Hospital – into a high-quality university with excellent medical, dental and nursing schools. He was appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of London in 2003 at a time of considerable change.

His interest in education led to membership of the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council, the Caribbean Accreditation Authority and chairmanship of the Education Committee at the General Medical Council, which sets the standards for medical education in the UK. Extending his interests to all aspects of medical regulation he subsequently became President of the General Medical Council where he advised on legislation and helped restore confidence in the medical profession after a series of damaging scandals in the 1990s. Returning to Scotland, he helped establish a modern facility for teaching and learning to balance the research institutes he had successfully promoted a decade earlier. He chaired the Scottish Stem Cell Network, the Better Regulation Group at Universities UK and was President of the College of Medicine and the Association for the Study of Medical Education. He has also chaired the boards of governors at both Robert Gordon’s College and Lathallan School. 

Knighted in 2002 for services to medicine and medical education, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Royal Colleges of Physicians and has received a number of awards and honorary degrees. Currently, he is a member of the Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners and a trustee of the International Medical Education Trust (iMEdTrust).