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Dr Elizabeth (Beth) Curtis MA, BMBCh, MRCP (Rheumatology, London)

Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellow in Rheumatology

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Dr Beth Curtis is a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellow in Rheumatology at the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, within the department of Medicine at the University of Southampton.

Dr Beth Curtis undertook her medical training at the University of Oxford, Brasenose College, graduating in 2010. Whilst there, she undertook a BA in Medical Sciences, graduating with a first class honours degree and developing interests in both rheumatology and human development.

Inspired by her experiences on a busy hip fracture ward at Southampton General Hospital, and mentorship from the rheumatology team as an SHO, she joined a team of bone health researchers at the MRC LEU as an Academic Foundation Doctor, working on the early-life determinants of osteoporosis. She gained an Academic Clinical Fellowship within the Wessex Rheumatology Specialist Training programme in 2014, and in 2016 was awarded a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Training Fellowship. She is now finishing her doctoral studies supervised by Professor Cyrus Cooper and Professor Nick Harvey and epigenetics specialists Professor Karen Lillycrop and Dr Christopher Bell. Her research is based on the mechanisms which determine musculoskeletal health in childhood, including epigenetic processes and the action of vitamin D. She is working on the Southampton Women’s Survey and the MAVIDOS randomised controlled trial of vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy.

She has also contributed to parallel projects on drug safety in various rheumatological conditions, working within a European collaboration, ESCEO, and with the British Society for Rheumatology, in addition to projects on fractures and bone health using data from Clinical Practice Research Datalink and UK Biobank. She is also working towards a Postgraduate Diploma in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.


BA (Hons), Medical Sciences, University of Oxford, 2007

BMBCh, University of Oxford, 2010

MRCP, London, 2013

MRCP Specialty Certificate in Rheumatology, London, 2017

Appointments held:

August 2016- current  Specialty Registrar in Rheumatology (ST5), University Hospitals Southampton NHS FT (Out of Programme Research)

August 2016- current  Postgraduate Diploma in Epidemiology Candidate, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London      

Dec 2015 – Aug 2016  Specialist Registrar (ST4) on Wessex Rheumatology rotation, Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth

Mar 2015- Dec 2015  NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow, MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton

Dec 2014- Feb 2015  Out of programme research project at Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand          

Aug 2014 – Dec 2014 Specialist Registrar (ST3) on Wessex Rheumatology rotation, Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth

Aug 2012 – Aug 2014 Core Medical Trainee, University Hospitals Southampton NHS FT

Aug 2010- Aug 2012   NIHR Academic Foundation Doctor, University Hospitals Southampton NHS FT

Research interests

Clinical studies and molecular mechanisms relating to musculoskeletal health in childhood:

  • Demonstration of epigenetic changes being associated with bone health in children at 4 and 6 years in the Southampton Women's Survey (Curtis et al, J Bone Min Res 2017)
  • Demonstration that vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy is associated with altered DNA methylation in the umbilical cord tissue of the offspring (Curtis et al, J Bone Min Res 2019)
  • Demonstration of that vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy is linked to reduced bone resorption in mothers (J Bone Min Res Plus 2018 (abstract)).

Epidemiology of osteoporosis/ big data:

  • Comprehensive characterisation of UK fracture epidemiology in adults and children using the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (Curtis et al, Bone, 2016; Van der Velde, Wyers, Curtis et al, Osteoporosis Int, 2016; Moon, Harvey, Curtis et al, Bone, 2016)
  • Prediction of fractures in a Southampton based cohort: Bone mineral content and bone areal density, but not area, predict incident fracture risk in a UK prospective cohort (Curtis et al, Arch Osteoporos 2016)
  • Evidence from UK Biobank that calcium and vitamin D supplementation are not associated with incident cardiac events, and that prior fragility fracture is associated with incident cardiac events (Harvey…Curtis et al, J Bone Min Res 2018; Paccou…Curtis et al, Osteoporosis Int 2018).

Clinical guideline development and drug safety in rheumatology:

  • The British Society for Rheumatology biologic DMARD safety guideline (Rheumatology 2019)
  • The Safety of COX-2 inhibitors and opioids in the management of osteoarthritis (systematic review) (Drugs and Ageing, 2019)

PhD research

“Mechanistic determinants of musculoskeletal health throughout childhood: findings from the Southampton Women’s Survey and the MAVIDOS trial”

Supervisors: Prof Nicholas Harvey, Prof Cyrus Cooper, Prof Karen Lillycrop, Dr Christopher Bell

Funder: Wellcome Trust

Research group

Human Development and Health

Affiliate research group

MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton


2015-current: Bone Research Society, UK; Committee member (Clinical New Investigator Rep 2017-current).

2015-current: National Osteoporosis Society, UK (A Member of Aspiring National Leadership Programme 2018, continued involvement with the charity)

2015-current: UK Research in Musculoskeletal Epidemiology (Committee member 2015-2018, contributed to the organisation of conferences at Keele, Oxford and Nottingham Universities, supporting young investigators in epidemiology)

2015-current: Member of Southampton Clinical Academic Trainees School Board as "Out of Programme Representative", helping to coordinate local clinical academic training.

Current Reviewing Activities:

Reviewer for “Lancet”, "Journal of Bone Mineral Research", "Osteoporosis International", "Bone" and other major European bone journals

Grant Reviewer for NIHR BRC grants

Abstract Reviewer for Bone Research Society (UK) Conferences

Prepared "Research Highlights" for the International Osteoporosis Foundation Conferences 2017 and 2018

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Provides 3rd and 5th year rheumatology teaching

Lecturer on BM4 course

Dr Elizabeth (Beth) Curtis
MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit (University of Southampton) Southampton General Hospital Southampton SO16 6YD
Email: Tel: +44 (0) 23 8077 7624

Room Number: SGH/MRC/MP95

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