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Vanderbilt University Medical Center Reporter

Oxford’s Collins set for Discovery Lecture


Sir Rory Collins, MBBS, professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Oxford, England, will deliver the next Flexner Discovery Lecture on Thursday, April 4.

His lecture, “Size matters: the need for large-scale population studies,” will begin at 4 p.m. in 208 Light Hall. It is sponsored by the Oates Institute for Experimental Therapeutics.

Sir Rory Collins, MBBS

Collins, the co-director of the Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit at Oxford, is known for the establishment of large-scale epidemiological studies of the causes, prevention and treatment of heart attacks, other vascular disease and cancer. He has also developed approaches to combine results from related studies, called “meta-analyses.”

In 2005, Collins became principal investigator and chief executive of the UK Biobank, a prospective study of 500,000 British people, aged 40-69. Enrollment for the UK Biobank took place over four years starting in 2006, and the volunteers will be followed for at least 25 years.

The long-term study is investigating the contributions of genetics and environmental exposures (such as nutrition, lifestyle and medications) to the development of disease.

Collins is a Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences and of the Royal College of Physicians. He was knighted in 2011 for his services to science.

For a complete schedule of the Flexner Discovery Lecture series and archived video of previous lectures, go to

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