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12 October 2020

Professor Tim Spector awarded OBE

Professor Tim Spector from the School of Life Course Sciences has been awarded an OBE for his contribution to the health services in the New Year’s Honours.


Professor Spector specialises in genetic epidemiology and founded the UK Twins Registry, of 13,000 twins, which is the richest collection of genotypic and phenotypic information worldwide.

His work with the COVID-19 Symptom Study App has provided essential data in response to the pandemic. More than 4million people across the UK have contributed the app. This has enabled researchers to make key findings about the nature of the disease. The app provided crucial data that confirmed loss of smell and taste – anosmia – was an early symptom of COVID-19. Other activities include identifying hotspots across the UK and investigating the effect of obesity, menopause and inflammation on the severity of COVID-19.

It is great that the Kings-Zoe symptom study app has been given recognition in this way for its impact on Covid-19 . The whole project got going in just four days and was only possible with the amazing app team at ZOE and the superb academic team at King’s College London all working together. This is an award for the whole team!

Professor Tim Spector, from the School of Life Course Sciences

Other King’s staff, student and alumni recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours this year include Professor Edward Byrne who has been awarded a knighthood, Professor Anne-Marie Rafferty who has been awarded a Damehood and James Rubin who has received an OBE for contributions to health services. Dr Simon Horne, a full time regular with the Royal Army Medical Corps and Emergency Medicine Consultant, has also received an OBE for his services to the military. Dr Horne's area of study has been critical developing better national and international policy in civil-military relations for humanitarian actions in new complex emergencies from the Middle East to Ebola outbreaks in Easter DR Congo.

Another member of the extended King’s community, Felicia Kwaku, Associate Director of Nursing at King’s College NHS Foundation Trust is recognised with an OBE for her work supporting Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic nurses during the pandemic.

The Queen’s Birthday Honours lists recognise the achievements of a wide range of people from across the UK. More information and the full New Year's Honours list for 2020 can be found here

In this story

Tim Spector

Professor of Genetic Epidemiology