Catherine Sudlow

Personal Chair of Neurology and Clinical Epidemiology


Cathie Sudlow graduated in medicine from the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, with postgraduate training in medicine and neurology in Oxford, Plymouth, Worthing and Edinburgh. She obtained her MSc in Epidemiology (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) in 1997 and DPhil (University of Oxford) in 2000. From 2000, she has been based at the University of Edinburgh, where she is Chair of Neurology and Clinical Epidemiology and, since 2017, Head of the Centre for Medical Informatics in the Usher Institute.

Her research focuses on large scale collaborative efforts to determine the causes (genetic, environment and lifestyle) of - and the effects of treatment on – common diseases of middle and older age. She has played a major role in such initiatives: to establish the role of antithrombotic therapy in preventing heart disease and stroke; to investigate differences between stroke subtypes; and to discover genes that influence stroke. Since 2011, she has been Chief Scientist of UK Biobank, whose unparalleled depth and breadth of open access phenotype and genotype data on 500,000 UK adults make it the UK’s single most important investment in population health research.

Professor Sudlow is PI or co-I on several multi-million pound research awards for population health, stroke and dementia research. She directs the newly established Scottish substantive site of Health Data Research UK and was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2018.

Research summary

My group’s main interests are in classical and genetic epidemiological approaches to understanding different subtypes of stroke, and - through my involvement with UK Biobank and collaboration with other very large cohorts (including Million Women Study and China Kadoorie Biobank) - large scale prospective observational epidemiology. Our work will evolve over the years ahead to encompass prospective studies of neurodegenerative disorders as well as of stroke and related phenotypes.

View all 194 publications on Research Explorer