In the 1970s two randomised trials of aspirin led by Professor Peter Elwood from the MRC Epidemiology Unit, South Wales made the headlines for finding that a low dose of aspirin had beneficial effects for patients who had had a heart attack.
This was just one of many important discoveries from over 50 years of epidemiological research carried out in South Wales in MRC units, including the Epidemiology Unit initially directed by Archie Cochrane, and then by Peter Elwood.
Peter joined the unit in South Wales in 1963 and led it from 1974 until it closed in 1995. Over that time he led on converting the unit from one which had researched respiratory disease and other issues to one with a focus on cardiovascular disease (which had shown increasing rates since the 2nd world war, whilst pneumoconiosis and tuberculosis decreased). Since the unit closed in 1995 he has continued working, producing more than many people do who are still employed.
In recognition of Peter’s long and valuable career, IEU’s Professor George Davey-Smith and Professor John Gallagher (Director of the Dementia Platform UK, University of Oxford), who both worked with Peter in the unit, are organising a half-day meeting in Peter’s honour on 19th May, 14:00-17:30 BST, in Oxford and online.
The meeting will feature speakers from Bristol, Oxford and UCL including Professors Nishi Chaturvedi, Andy Ness, Sir Michael Marmot and Sir Richard Peto, as well as Peter himself, discussing important topics in epidemiology. These include the role of alcohol in cardiovascular disease; how diet influences disease risk; potential causal relationships between diabetes and dementia; health inequalities, productive research environments and aspirin.
See the full programme.
Register for the online event (free) on the EventBrite page.
More about the history of epidemiology in South Wales.