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Colin Baigent and Sarah Darby

Professor Colin Baigent, Director of the Medical Research Council Population Health Research Unit, and Professor Sarah C Darby FRS, Professor of Medical Statistics, have been elected Fellows of The Academy of Medical Sciences.

The Academy of Medical Sciences is an independent body in the UK representing the diversity of medical science. Elected Fellows are the UK’s leading medical scientists from hospitals, academia, industry and the public service. This year, 50 Fellows were chosen from 413 candidates.

The new Fellows have been selected for their outstanding contributions to advancing medical science, cutting edge research discoveries, and translating developments into benefits for patients and wider society. Many of the new Fellows have also made a contribution to medical science through outstanding leadership, public engagement and supporting the career advancement of junior trainees.

Professor Baigent was appointed Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Oxford in 2006. He became Deputy Director of the Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit in 2013 and Director of the Medical Research Council Population Health Research Unit in 2016. Professor Baigent’s main research interest is in cardiovascular epidemiology. His work has helped determine the effects of widely-used medicines such as aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and statins in different types of patients.

Professor Sarah C Darby joined the University of Oxford in 1984, and now leads a programme of work to evaluate the benefits and risks of treatments for cancer. Professor Darby has formulated and studied several questions regarding the impact of ionising radiation on human health. For example, she and her team have estimated the absolute size of the benefit of radiotherapy to breast cancer patients and also the absolute size of the risk. This is enabling the likely net benefit of radiotherapy to be estimated for individual patients.

Professor Sir Robert Lechler PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences said: ‘The Academy’s Fellowship is a unique assembly of the finest minds in biomedical and health research, from across the UK and beyond. Our Fellows are at the centre of all that we do, from supporting early career researchers via our hugely popular mentorship programme to incorporating public and patient views into health research. Their collective wisdom is a national asset to guide research and policy aimed at tackling pressing health challenges.

‘It brings me great pleasure to congratulate the new Fellows, each of whom has pushed the boundaries of their individual research field. I am always delighted to see the Fellowship expand, adding fresh talent to our invaluable pool of high quality guidance, advice and expertise.’

The new Fellows will be formally admitted to the Academy at a ceremony on 26 June 2019.