Peter Rothwell is an academic clinical neurologist and epidemiologist whose innovative research has revolutionised clinical practice in prevention of stroke, informed the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension, and shown that aspirin has a role in prevention and adjuvant treatment of cancer. His work shows how the dedicated application of the scientific method to clinical problems can have extraordinary impact in medicine and that major improvements in outcome are still attainable simply by better understanding of known risk factors and more effective use of existing treatments. He established the Stroke Prevention Research Unit in 2000, and subsequently founded the purpose-built Wolfson Centre for Prevention of Stroke and Dementia, which opened in 2020.
His main research interests are in the causes of stroke and vascular dementia and in how best to improve prevention, particularly after a TIA/minor stroke. Other interests include hypertension, the effects of aspirin on non-vascular diseases, such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, and the more general theme of how best to apply the results of research to clinical decisions with individual patients in routine practice.
With a working group at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin, Rothwell wants to conduct research on recurrent strokes. About one sixth of all people will suffer a stroke in their lifetime, and of these in turn, about 30 % are at risk of having another stroke. The group therefore wants to investigate neurological therapies that can reduce this risk. Special attention will be paid to the role of glucose metabolism as a risk factor, in order to identify biomarkers for the risk of both multiple strokes and deterioration of cognitive abilities. Peter Rothwell and his research group will be working at the Center for Stroke Research of the Charité.