Louis Appleby graduated in medicine in Edinburgh and subsequently trained in hospital medicine and psychiatry, the latter at the Institute of Psychiatry, London. He has an MD from Edinburgh and is a Fellow of the Royal Colleges of both Physicians and Psychiatrists. He has held research grants totalling £22m from the Wellcome Trust, MRC, Department of Health and other NHS sources.
Louis leads the Centre for Mental Health and Safety, investigating suicide and self-harm, the largest research unit in this field internationally. Its findings have been the basis of Government policy on suicide prevention and are widely quoted by governments, professionals and charities. From 2000-2010 Louis was seconded as the Government's National Director for Mental Health to lead a national programme of reform in mental health care in England and from 2010-2014 he was National Clinical Director for Health and Criminal Justice. From 2013-2019 he was a non-executive director of the Care Quality Commission, the NHS regulator.