Martin Burton has been the Master since September 2023. He moved back to Cambridge from Oxford where he was Director of Cochrane UK, the unit responsible for supporting the activities Cochrane contributors in the UK and Ireland. He was also Professor of Otolaryngology in the Nuffield Department of Surgery at the University of Oxford, an Honorary Consultant Otolaryngologist at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, based at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, and Fellow in Clinical Medicine at Balliol College. He served as Balliol’s Vice-Master (Executive) for three years immediately before his move.

Born and raised in Preston, Lancashire, Martin was educated in the state system at Hutton Grammar School. He trained as a medical student at Cambridge (Corpus Christi College) and Oxford (St. Edmund Hall) and did his early clinical training in Oxford and Bristol. He was a Fulbright Scholar in 1986-87 and undertook research training at the Kresge Hearing Research Institute at the University of Michigan, USA. Following a period as Lecturer in Otolaryngology at the University of Melbourne in Australia, he completed his doctoral thesis on the safety of cochlear implantation in small children. His higher surgical training was completed in London and as Fellow in Otology, Neurotology & Skull Base Surgery at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA.

He has now retired from clinical practice, but his interests were primarily otological – hearing loss, tinnitus, balance disorders and middle ear and mastoid surgery. He has always been interested in the application of evidence-based practice across all areas of health and social care, the promotion of public understanding of health research, and understanding how patients and health professionals can – together – handle uncertainty. His research focused on developing suites of high-quality systematic reviews, on those prioritised clinical topics in otolaryngology of most importance to patients and practitioners.