David Matthews trained at the University of Oxford (BA, BM, BCh, MA and DPhil). He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP) and Hon DM, Aristotle University (Honoris causa).

Professor Matthews has devoted his life to diabetes – combining clinical care, teaching and research. His studies have focused on type 2 diabetes, including insulin secretion and action, insulin resistance, mathematical modeling of insulin resistance and the analysis of pulsatile insulin (and other hormones, especially growth hormone) using time-series analysis. He has been part of, and led many trials in diabetes.

As well as having given many lectures worldwide, his medical teaching and assessment experience includes organising and running the MRCP Part 1 course at Central Middlesex Hospital and lectures on diabetes at the Oxford Medical School. He was Director of Medical Studies at Harris Manchester College (1996-2008) and instituted and directed the Robert Turner Post-graduate course (residential) at Oxford until 2019.

He was deputy co-ordinator and member of the Executive and Policy Advisory Committees of the UK Prospective Study of Diabetes (UKPDS) and founder member of the Oxford Health Alliance, a multiple stakeholder collaboration to address and prevent chronic illness. He was co-director (2005-2013) of the National Diabetes Research Network (URDRN), which was managed jointly by Imperial College London and Oxford University. He was co-chair of the CANVAS and CANVAS-R studies and Chair of the Steering committee of the VERIFY trial.

He raised the funding for, and oversaw the building of the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism (OCDEM), of which he was the first Chairman (1999-2013). Over the course of his career he has written more than 320 peer-reviewed publications (citations: 65,987 [July 2020]; H index: 72). He has also undertaken peer review for many top-ranking journals, including Diabetes, Diabetes Care, Diabetelogia and the Lancet, and was on the Editorial Board for Diabetic Medicine. He delivered the 2010 Banting lecture for Diabetes UK, for whom he also served as Chair of the Grants Committee. He is a past President of the EASD.