Anitschkow Prize Recipient 2021

2021 Anitschkow Award recognizes Professor Sir Rory Collins

 The European Atherosclerosis Society is pleased to announce that Professor Sir Rory Collins has been awarded the 2021 Anitschkow Award. The Anitschkow Award is given for outstanding research in the field of atherosclerosis and linked metabolic disturbances.

About the Winner

The 2021 award recognizes the transformative national and international contributions that Professor Collins has made in investigating the causes, prevention, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Notably, studies that he led have established statins as the standard of care for managing hypercholesterolemia and saving millions of lives globally. The award also recognizes Professor Collins for his visionary leadership of the UK Biobank, a major contributor to the advancement of modern medicine which has enabled scientific discoveries that improve human health.

Professor Collins is the British Heart Foundation Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Oxford, the Head of the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford, and a Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford. He trained in Medicine at St Thomas’s Hospital Medical School, London University, and in Statistics at George Washington and Oxford Universities.

Professor Collins is an epidemiologist who studies how to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease in large population-based studies. Over his 40-year career in Oxford, Professor Collins has driven the establishment of large-scale epidemiological studies on the causes, prevention and treatment of myocardial infarction, other vascular disease, and cancer. These studies have changed medical practice.

During the 1980s and early 1990s, Professor Collins coordinated the ISIS mega-trials (International Studies of Infarct Survival) which studied the acute treatment of myocardial infarction. Evidence from these trials led to thrombolytic and antiplatelet treatments becoming routine therapy for acute myocardial infarction worldwide and paved the way for primary PCI as part of routine care in this setting. This concept of large simple trials was established as the model for subsequent studies. Since the early 1990s, Professor Collins was instrumental to the conduct of large-scale trials of statins, including the 20,000-patient Heart Protection Study which showed that lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol with statin therapy benefited a much wider range of people than previously thought.

In September 2005, Professor Collins became Principal Investigator of the UK Biobank study which contains comprehensive genetic and health information from half a million UK participants. The database is globally accessible to approved researchers undertaking vital research into the most common and life-threatening diseases.

Professor Collins has received numerous prestigious awards throughout his career. He was elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2004, and the UK Royal Society in 2015, and in 2011 was knighted for services to Science. More recently, in 2020 Professor Collins was awarded the MRC Millennium Medal, the most prestigious personal award of the Medical Research Council.