How We Chose the TIME100 Most Influential People in Health of 2024

How We Chose the TIME100 Most Influential People in Health of 2024

In 2018, we worked with Bill Gates on a special issue of TIME dedicated to the power of optimism. Gates’ view, shared by many of the issue’s contributors, was that people are wired to focus on when things go wrong and when they don’t work. Sometimes this attention distracts us from the moments when progress is being made. Journalists fall prey to this phenomenon as much as anyone else.

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As we put together this issue, I was reminded of the conversations with Gates that led to that project. With guidance from Dr. David Agus and Arianna Huffington, our team of health correspondents and editors, led by Emma Barker and Mandy Oaklander, spent months consulting sources and experts around the world to select the 100 individuals who are most influential in the world of health right now. The result is the TIME100 Health, a community of leaders from across industries—scientists, doctors, advocates, educators, and policy-makers, among others—dedicated to creating tangible, credible change for a healthier population. Together, they are a reminder that many things are going right, and their work is enough to inspire the belief that the world of health is in the middle of a golden age of accomplishment and transformation.

While the global pandemic made painfully clear the distances we still have to go to create a healthy and safe world, our emergence from that period has also put a light on the many ways humanity is making progress. Renewed investment and attention is driving a boom in drug discovery and disease eradication.

The TIME100 Health includes a group of scientists—Dan Drucker, Joel Habener, Jens Juul Holst, and Svetlana Mojsov—whose discoveries led to the GLP-1 weight-loss and diabetes drugs like Ozempic; Khaled Kabil, who ran a program that rid Egypt of hepatitis C infections, despite the nation’s having one of the highest rates in the world just 10 years ago; French neuroscientist Grégoire Courtine and Swiss neurosurgeon Jocelyne Bloch, who created a brain-spine implant that enabled a paralyzed man to walk again; Peter Attia, who may be the reason your friend is embracing a high-protein diet; Jonathan Haidt, whose hit book The Anxious Generation is leading a call to ban cell phones in schools and keep kids off social media until they’re 16; and immunobiologist Akiko Iwasaki, one of the foremost Long COVID researchers, who is developing a nasal COVID-19 vaccine that she hopes could prevent infection—and thus long-term symptoms—altogether. Health innovation, like this list, reflects humanity at its best: people using all their resourcefulness and ingenuity to help one another live better.

The introduction of the TIME100 Health is part of our ongoing effort to expand the TIME100, the world’s most influential community, into the sectors that may do the most to define our future—artificial intelligence, climate, and health. Whether you are familiar with the individuals on this list or this is the first time you’re reading about them, their work is changing the lives of people in your community and around the world. We are thrilled to announce the first TIME100 Health and looking forward to May in New York City, when we will gather this group together in person for the first time.

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