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Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

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Centre for Environmental and Preventive Medicine

Led by Professor Sir Nicholas Wald

We conduct research and teach in all areas of chronic disease epidemiology, medical screening and public health.

Our research is often linked to laboratory studies with a focus on elucidating the causes and prevention of disease. 

We conduct research, teaching and practice in the following areas: 

Medical Screening

The centre is widely acknowledged as Britain’s foremost academic unit engaged in the theory and practice of medical screening. We are actively engaged in research, teaching and practice in many areas of medical screening.

Randomised prevention trials

We and other groups within the Wolfson Institute have been and are actively involved in randomised trials to assess the value of interventions to prevent serious disorders such as stomach cancer and the prevention of heart attacks.

Epidemiology and Prevention of congenital anomalies

We provide statistical expertise on the analysis of data on congenital anomalies with recent work including the development of a European reproductive pharmacovigilance system. We are funded by Public Health England to provide national data on the epidemiology of all congenital anomalies in England and Wales.

Cardiovascular disease and diabetes prevention

We originated the Polypill concept in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and have undertaken trials demonstrating its effectiveness. We quantified the relationship between salt intake and cardiovascular disease across the population. Britain’s leading advocacy group into salt and sugar intake reduction is based in our centre.

Health and Lifestyle research group

We conduct research in smoking cessation and in weight management. We operate a Smokers clinic and a weight Clinic based at the Whitechapel campus. The clinics serve as clinical bases for studies developing new treatments and enhancing understanding of addictive behaviours and behaviour change.

Epidemiological methods

We pioneered developing the methodology used in multiple marker antenatal screening for Down’s syndrome. We have developed the methodologies for the meta-analysis of screening studies. We developed a new method that overcomes the limitations of current metrics used to express the health benefits of preventive medical strategies.

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