I currently supervise 4 DPhil students, studying different aspects to heart failure, cancer prediction and weight.
CBE, FMedSci, FRCGP, FRCP (London), FESC, FRCP (Edin), MA (Ox)
Head of Department
- Nuffield Professor of Primary Care Health Sciences
- Director, NIHR English School for Primary Care Research
- Director, NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (NIHR ARC) Oxford
My research interests mainly focus on cardiovascular epidemiology and clinical trials, especially relating to vascular and stroke risk, heart failure, and digital health.
I have developed and led, at the University of Oxford, one of the largest and most highly ranked centres for academic primary care globally. Over my (long) career I have made major contributions to growing primary care academic capacity in the UK, in terms of both researchers and research networks. I think that this career contribution – highlighting the importance of primary care and disease prevention to health systems, and raising the capacity of academic primary care to answer important questions that improve the care of the patients we serve – is what motivated me on my career path, and still does. So much of what we do is uncertain and we should strive for greater clarity through scientific enquiry and then consistent and rapid implementation of the best evidence that emerges.
I have authored over 500 peer reviewed publications, have an h-index of 93, with over 87000 citations, making me one of the world's most cited primary care academics. I have an 'outstanding track record' in cardiovascular research, designing and delivering trials that changed international guidelines and practice, especially in the areas of stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation (BAFTA, SAFE, and SMART trials), heart failure burden and diagnosis (ECHOES and REFER trials), and contributing to studies in hypertension self-management (TASMINH series).
I was awarded the fifth RCGP Discovery Prize in 2018 (one of only six recipients since 1953) and received an inaugural Distinguished Researcher Shine Prize from WONCA World in 2018. I was awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours in 2018 for my ‘contributions to medical research’.
My research has impacted on international health policies and clinical guidelines. Within the NHS, I have consulted on National Service Frameworks for CHD, atrial fibrillation, and heart failure and several National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) reviews. I provided clinical care in a deprived but innovative inner-city general practice for 38 years before taking a career break in 2019.
I have served on many national and international scientific and research funding boards in UK, Ireland, Canada, and WHO, including the BHF Council, the Board of the British Primary Care Cardiovascular Society, British Primary Care Cardiovascular Society, and the ESC Council for Cardiovascular Primary Care. I am President of the International Primary Care Cardiovascular Society (IPCCS) and I currently chair the European Primary Care Cardiovascular Society (EPCCS), a WONCA Special Interest Group. I was co-Director of the Quality and Outcomes (QOF) Review Panel from 2005–09.
Latterly, I have directed much of my energies on rapidly re-tasking our large and talented department to help meet the challenges of COVID 19. From daily updates on a COVID-19 trusted evidence website, to running all four of the primary care ‘national priority urgent COVID research programmes’, with the only primary care therapy trial platform (PRINCIPLE, co-CI with Butler), diagnostics platform (RAPTOR, co-CI with Nicholson), COVID surveillance (Oxford RCGP RSC, co-PI with de Lusignan), and COVID risk analytics (OpenSafely, QResearch, RSC). I am also leading a major new initiative to create the Institute of Applied Digital Health, and seeking major funding donations to accommodate the expanding department on a second new building on the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter close by the iconic Radcliffe Primary Care Building, renovated from the original Radcliffe Infirmary Out-Patients Building in 2016.
Finally, I have served on the University Council since 2014, chaired a number of important Council Working Groups, and was appointed a Pro-Vice-Chancellor (without portfolio) in 2020, presently the only departmental academic to hold such a role. I am very fortunate to work with outstanding colleagues in research and administration in my Department and throughout this extraordinary University.