A scientist whose "lifelong passion" is to find ways for the elderly to live long, healthy lives is among those honoured by the Queen.
Prof Louise Robinson, director of Newcastle University's Institute for Ageing, has been awarded a damehood in the New Year Honours list.
Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council, is appointed a CBE.
James Ramsbotham, of the North East Chamber of Commerce, also becomes a CBE.
James Mackey, chief executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, was knighted in recognition of his services to healthcare.
As director of the Institute, Dame Louise is in charge of more than 700 academics and was a key figure in the successful £40m bid for Newcastle University to host the National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA).
The NICA brings together business, academia and the public to develop innovative products and services that aim to make older lives better.
Dame Louise said: "I am overwhelmed and absolutely delighted to be recognised in this way for what, to me, has been not a job but a lifelong passion to improve the care of older people, especially those living with dementia."
Mr Ramsbotham, chief executive of the North East Chamber of Commerce, said: "I am over the moon that our work has been recognised in this way and I feel very honoured and humbled."
Describing his knighthood as a "privilege", Sir James said it represented "the hard work and dedication of colleagues" within the health trust.
Cancer drugs pioneer Prof Herbie Newell of Newcastle University has been appointed CBE for services to medical research.
He was the founding scientific director of the Northern Institute for Cancer Research.
Prof Newell said: "This honour recognises the wonderful work of the charities that support our research, especially Cancer Research UK and the patients who have taken part in the clinical trials on the drugs I have helped to develop."