Prof. Tim Cole, PhD

Tim Cole is a statistician with longstanding interests in the statistics of human growth and body size. He studied at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford in the UK, and subsequently gained his Cambridge PhD and ScD in medical statistics on the basis of published work. After Oxford he joined the British Medical Research Council in 1970, which continued to support him for 49 years until 2019. After 5 years working on lung function at the MRC Pneumoconiosis Research Unit in South Wales he spent 23 years at the MRC Dunn Nutrition Unit in Cambridge, where he developed his current interests in the statistics of child growth and nutrition. He moved to the Institute of Child Health, University College London in 1998, where he holds a personal chair in medical statistics, and since last year he has been a professorial research associate.
His main research interests are the statistics of anthropometry and growth, and the factors affecting them. This extends from prematurity and birth, through infancy, childhood and adolescence, into adulthood and later life. It includes adiposity indices based on weight and height like BMI, and life-course and inter-generational aspects of anthropometry. He has invented several novel growth charts, including the International Obesity Task Force child obesity BMI cut-offs, and his LMS method is the statistical basis for constructing national growth references in the UK, the USA, WHO and elsewhere.

The LMS method simplifies the analysis of growth data and has applications in diverse areas including endocrinology, malnutrition, obesity, life course and bone health.
More recently he has developed the SITAR model for analysing longitudinal growth, which has particular applications in infancy and puberty when it can estimate the timing of growth spurts in individuals such as peak height velocity. He has produced open source software and patented the Cole Calculator to simplify growth assessment.
He has also contributed, with colleagues, to the statistics of human nutrition in the areas of infant feeding, child body composition, child bone health, energy intake and energy expenditure, all of which require an understanding of and adjustment for body size effects.
Tim Cole has published some 600 peer-reviewed research papers in statistics, child growth and nutrition, of which 13 have been cited over 1000 times. Altogether he has over 98,000 citations on Google Scholar and an h-index of 142.

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Main topics

  • Early feeding and growth
  • First 1000 days
  • Biological models in growth
  • Growth disorders
  • Birth cohorts
  • Croatian Islands' Birth Cohort Study (CRIBS)
  • Obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome
  • Nutrition and body composition
  • Epigenetics of growth and development
  • Environmental effects on growth
  • Recent advances in data analysis
  • Clinical considerations in fetal growth and neonatology
  • Kinesiology, maturity and athletic performance
  • Complex and genetic disorders
  • The exposome and allergic diseases
  • Growth and development in educational context (in collaboration with Education and Teacher Training Agency - in Croatian)

 

 

 

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Important info

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to postpone the ISGA Congress, originally planned for May 27-31 2020 in Šibenik, Croatia. Even with the vaccinations, the situation is not improving significantly and prevents us from holding the Congress in 2021.

International Society for the Study of Human Growth and Clinical Auxology (ISGA), with the Institute and Anthropological Research as host, and European Anthropological Association (EAA) came to a mutual decision to hold a joint ISGA & EAA Congress in 2024 in Croatia. We look forward to this event as a great opportunity for the exchange of knowledge and networking!

As the planning for the 2024 Congress proceeds, we will be updating the website to keep you informed, so please check the website and do not hesitate to contact us if you require further information.

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