The 2017 winner, Dr Linxin Li, was selected for her ground breaking prospective population-based cohort study in patients with a first transient ischaemic attack, ischaemic stroke, or myocardial infarction treated with antiplatelet drugs (mainly aspirin based, without routine PPI use) after the event in the Oxford Vascular Study. Her findings show that the severity, case fatality, and poor functional outcome of bleeds, particularly upper gastrointestinal bleedings, increase with age. Moreover, she estimated that the number needed to treat for routine PPI use to prevent one disabling or fatal upper gastrointestinal bleed over 5 years fell from 338 for individuals younger than 65 years, to 25 for individuals aged 85 years or older. She is currently investigating a policy change to assess the impact of co-prescribing gastric protection with PPI for older patients in the Oxford TIA clinic.
In her presentation at the Science Award Ceremony she described her scientific and clinical educational journey from an early inspiration to “Get simple things right” and make established medication safer for patients. Her future plans involve further development of her scientific skills with an MSc in epidemiology. She also told the audience that she had learnt that: “Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else thought.”
Carlo Patrono, Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board said: “Dr Li has published perhaps the most compelling and one of the largest observational studies into the use of aspirin in vascular disease and our understanding of major bleeding complications. This will help to identify and manage risk factors for gastrointestinal bleeding.”