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Sir Richard Peto FRS (born 14 May 1943)[1] is Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology at the University of Oxford, England.[3][4][5]

Sir Richard Peto
Born (1943-05-14) 14 May 1943 (age 74)[1]
Nationality United Kingdom
Education Taunton's School
Alma mater University of Cambridge (BA)
Imperial College London (MSc)[1]
Known for
Scientific career
Fields Medical Statistics, Clinical Trials, Epidemiology of Smoking.
Institutions University of Oxford
Green Templeton College, Oxford
Influences Richard Doll



He attended Taunton's School in Southampton and subsequently studied the Natural Sciences Tripos at Queens' College, Cambridge[when?] followed by a Master of Science degree in Statistics at Imperial College London.[1][when?]

Career and researchEdit

His career has included collaborations with Richard Doll beginning at the Medical Research Council Statistical Research Unit in London. He set up the Clinical Trial Service Unit (CTSU) in Oxford in 1975 and is currently co-director. Peto's paradox is named after him.

Awards and honoursEdit

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1989 for his contributions to the development of meta-analysis. He is a leading expert on deaths related to tobacco use. He was knighted for his services to epidemiology and to cancer prevention in 1999, and he received an honorary Doctor of Medical Sciences degree from Yale University in 2011.[6][7]

Personal lifeEdit

His brother Julian Peto, with whom he has published work in mathematical statistics (e.g. on the logrank test), is also a distinguished epidemiologist. His family runs a Thai restaurant in the Covered Market, Oxford, of whose parent company he is a director.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d Anon (2017). Peto, Sir Richard. Who's Who (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.30686.    (subscription required)
  2. ^ Knottnerus, J. A. (2008). "The Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Medicine 2008 awarded to Sir Richard Peto". Nederlands tijdschrift voor geneeskunde. 152 (41): 2216–2218. PMID 19009807. 
  3. ^ Mann, C. (1990). "Richard Peto: Statistician with a Mission". Science. 249 (4968): 479. doi:10.1126/science.249.4968.479. PMID 17735279. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  4. ^ Royal Society citation
  5. ^ BBC interview with Richard Peto
  6. ^ "Sir Richard Peto". University of Oxford. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 
  7. ^ "Yale University: Honorary Degrees". USA: Yale University. Archived from the original on 21 May 2015. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 
  8. ^ "Sasi's Thai". Find The Company. UK. Retrieved 24 May 2015. 

Selected publicationsEdit