Brian Darlow trained at Cambridge University, elsewhere in the United Kingdom and New Zealand, with a spell in Papua New Guinea.
He returned to the department as Senior Lecturer in 1982 and was appointed to the Chair of Paediatrics in 2001. From 2007 until 2018 Brian held the Cure Kids Chair of Paediatric Research at the University of Otago, Christchurch.
Through most of his career he has worked as a clinical neonatologist and his research interests include free radical disease in the newborn, the epidemiology and outcome of complications of prematurity, and neonatal networking.
Interests outside of medicine include ornithology and tramping.