I am an epidemiologist and clinical trialist with a particular interest in cardiovascular disease.
I studied Medicine at St Thomas’s Hospital Medical School, London, and Statistics at George Washington University and at Oxford University.
In 1981, I came to Oxford to work with Richard Peto and Peter Sleight on the ISIS “mega-trials” of emergency treatment for heart attacks. These trials showed that clot-dissolving and clot-preventing treatment could more than halve mortality, and these treatments rapidly became part of routine care.
Since the early 1990s, I have been conducting large randomized trials of the effects of modifying blood levels of cholesterol. For example, we’ve shown that lowering LDL-cholesterol with statin therapy safely reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes among a very wide range of individuals. As a consequence, statins are used extensively worldwide.
I became Principal Investigator of the UK Biobank study in September 2005. It is the largest deeply characterized prospective epidemiological cohort in the world, and is being made available for all types of health-related research.
In 2013, I set up the Nuffield Department of Population Health, which I currently lead.