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Colin Baigent


Emeritus Professor of Epidemiology

Colin Baigent studied Medicine at Bristol and Oxford University (1983-89), having originally studied Mathematics at Oxford (1980-83).

He became an MRC career scientist in 2002, and in 2006 was appointed Professor of Epidemiology at Oxford. He was elected to Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2019. He is now retired and was appointed Emeritus Professor of Epidemiology in 2023.

His main interest is in cardiovascular epidemiology, and most particularly the design, conduct and application of large-scale randomised trials in cardiovascular disease. His research includes the coordination of meta-analyses of randomised trials, typically with individual participant data, resulting in landmark papers that have helped determine the effects of aspirin (and other antiplatelet drugs), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, fibrinolytic therapy, and statins in different types of patients. The recent work of his group on the Cholesterol Treatment Trialists’ (CTT) Collaboration, led by Associate Professor Christina (Kirsty) Reith, has provided major new insights into the safety of statin therapy.

Together with Professor Sir Martin Landray, he initiated the department’s Renal Studies Group, now led by Professors Will Herrington and Richard Haynes, and he remains actively involved in the group’s work. This group has contributed to a better understanding of cardiovascular disease and the determinants of progressive loss of kidney function in patients with renal impairment through its work on large-scale randomised trials of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

The first of these, the Study of Heart and Renal Protection (SHARP), recruited 9438 patients in nearly 400 hospitals in 18 countries, and showed that lowering LDL cholesterol in patients with CKD reduced the risk of atherosclerotic disease. 

More recently, the EMPA-KIDNEY trial in 6609 patients with progressive CKD showed that empagliflozin, an SGLT2-inhibitor, reduces the risk of progression of renal disease and cardiovascular death in a wide range of patients. The group is now planning a new trial, EASi-KIDNEY, designed to assess the effectiveness and safety of inhibiting aldosterone synthesis in around 11,000 patients with progressive CKD.