On Friday, 30 September, three world-class professors from Boston, Massachusetts were the winners of the 2016 International Aspirin Foundation Senior Science Award for their work on the two largest ever randomised trials of aspirin.
Nancy Cook, Michael Gaziano and Julie Buring have led the teams in Boston that have been responsible for the running and subsequent long-term follow-up of the trials of aspirin in prevention of vascular events and other pathology – Physicians’ Health Study and Women’s Health Study. As well as answering key questions about the benefits and risks of aspirin, these trials also developed methodology for conducting large randomized trials to a very high standard at remarkably low cost. Lessons from their pioneering work in this area have influenced the design of subsequent trials of aspirin and many other interventions.
The award which recognizes significant scientific research was open to those who contribute to the scientific knowledge of aspirin/acetylsalicylic acid.
Professor Peter Rothwell FMedSci, chair of the International Aspirin Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board said of the award: “This prestigious award recognises scientists who endeavour to better understand what this long-established drug can do to improve human health. In terms of reliably determining what aspirin achieves in primary prevention of disease, these three senior investigators on the PHS and WHS trials have each made very major contributions to both scientific understanding and to guiding clinical practice.”
Receiving the award at the presentation ceremony on behalf of the team, Professor Nancy Cook added: “I am honored to receive this award along with my colleagues in Boston. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work on questions regarding aspirin in the rich data provided by the PHS and WHS.”
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