Professor Walter Holland qualified from St Thomas's Medical School in 1954, having obtained a first degree in Physiology.
He served in the Royal Air Force, attached to the Epidemiological Research Laboratory at Colindale and, after a further appointment as Lecturer to the Department of Medicine at St Thomas's, he was made MRC Clinical Research Fellow in the Department of Epidemiology and Medical Statistics at the London School of Hygiene.
This was followed by a year in the Department of Epidemiology at John Hopkins School of Hygiene and then his return to St Thomas's in 1962 and his appointment to Professor in 1968. Professor Holland is now retired from UMDS (Guy's and St Thomas's) and is based at LSE Health and Social Care as Emeritus Professor of Public Health Medicine and Visiting Professor.
Professor Holland's main research interests have been in the epidemiology of chronic respiratory disease, blood pressure and the application of epidemiologic principles to health services research.
Professor Holland has gained many professional awards, including the CBE in 1992, election as Member of the Society of Scholars at the John Hopkins University in 1970, nomination as a "Hero of Public Health" by John Hopkins University in 1992, and was awarded the Europe et Médicine Prize of the Institut des Sciences de la Santé.
He was President of the International Epidemiological Association and of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine. He has honorary doctorates from the University of Bordeaux and the University of Berlin.
Most recently (2005), he has been elected as an Honorary Member of the Italian Society of Public Health. He has published over 300 articles and edited the Oxford Textbook of Public Health. He has served on numerous advisory bodies at local, national and international level, including the WHO, and has been a Visiting Professor at universities in America, Australia, France and Italy.
He has coordinated the publication of the "Development of Modern Epidemiology" to mark the 50th anniversary of the International Epidemiological Association which was published by Oxford University Press in April 2007.
His current work has been concerned with writing an account of the development of Health Services Research in the UK which is almost complete. He is beginning to work on comparison of changes in levels of health in the UK to assess the effect of the differences in the organization of health services in England, Scotland and Wales.
In 2010 Professor Holland was awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Faculty of Public Health.