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Adrian Grant

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 07 September 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h4757
  1. Joanna Lyall, London
  1. j.lyall{at}

Epidemiologist who became one of the world’s most respected health services researchers

Adrian Grant was embarking on a career in obstetrics at Queen Charlotte’s Hospital when a course in medical demography at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine changed the course of his life. “I was not a natural surgeon and tended to panic in crises,” said Grant, who was affected by progressive external ophthalmoplegia much of his life. But he found that he loved randomised controlled trials.

In 1980 he took up a post in Oxford as epidemiologist at the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU), under its founding director, Iain Chalmers, with the task of establishing a trials centre.

“I stole Adrian shamelessly from Queen Charlotte’s,” recalls Chalmers. “Our small team—statistician Alison Macfarlane, social scientist Jo Garcia, sociologist Ann Oakley, and I—needed an epidemiologist. I persuaded Adrian to join us, and to pursue a career in terrain in which no career path existed. It was from this start, that this intelligent, thoughtful, softly spoken man became one of …

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