My background was in Mathematics and Statistics before joining the British Regional Heart Study in 1979 based at The Roal Free School of Medicine within The University of London. From 1979 I worked with Professor Gerry Shaper on the BRHS for 12 years, becoming a co-director of the study in 1987 and being promoted to Senior Lecturer in Medical Statistics in 1989. During that time I completed a PhD in Epidemiology and developed interests in cardiovascular & respiratory epidemiology as well as social inequalities in health and health care. In 1991 I moved to St George's as Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology, subsequently being promoted to Reader and Professor.
My research is focused on 4 areas: (i) the use of large primary care databases for epidemiological and health service research; (ii) the early origins of cardiovascular, metabolic and respiratory diseases; (ii) ethnic differences in cardiovascular diseases and diabetes; (iv) the application of systematic reviewing and meta-analysis within observational epidemiology; specifically within area (ii) above.
In 1998, I formed the Primary Care Epidemiology Group to bring together and develop expertise on linking and analysis of information from large routine data sets at a time when computerisation of primary care and changes in the NHS were making possible new perspectives on health care and ways of carrying out epidemiological and health services research. The PCEG includes programmers, statisticians, epidemiologists and general practitioners.