Philippe Autier was born in Brussels, Belgium, and received a Doctor of Medicine degree from the Université Libre de Bruxelles and a diploma in tropical medicine from the Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp in 1983. He started his professional life by joining the humanitarian non-governmental organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), where he helped in Honduras (1985 and 1986), and later in Chad (1987-88) as the medical coordinator of projects conducted by a team of approximately 50 expatriates and 200 Chadian health workers.
In 1988-89, Philippe Autier was the first head of the medical department of MSF-Belgium. He is one of the founders and a board member of the organisation AEDES that provides expertise in public health to low and middle income countries. In 1990 he received a Fulbright fellowship with a grant from the Frank Boas Foundation to study at Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, where he was awarded an MPH. In 2011, he received a PhD from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam for his works on the cutaneous melanoma. Philippe Autier has been head of the Prevention and Screening Department of the Jules Bordet Institute in Brussels (1992-95 and 2002-2005), Deputy Director at the European Institute of Oncology in Milano (1995-2000), and Group Head at the International Agency for research on Cancer in Lyon (2000-2010).
Philippe Autier is a leading figure in several fields including research on cutaneous melanoma and breast cancer, especially in domains related to the causation, prevention and early detection of these cancers. He is also very involved in the clinical testing of new methods for cancer detection and in health technology assessment.
In 2013 he was appointed Professor at Strathclyde University. Philippe Autier is Vice President, Population Research, at the International Prevention Research Institute.