Dr Lowry, a qualified doctor and dentist, completed formal training in public health and became an NHS consultant in 1990. Until he retired in 2010 he was a senior lecturer in dental public health at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He is on the specialist registers for medical and dental public health and is a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health. He has published over 50 articles in the learned press. He was the training director for public health in the Northern Region and an examiner for the Faculty of Public Health. He now devotes most of his working time to social marketing: helping health service commissioners undertake interventions, teaching and consultancy; and after-dinner speaking.