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Professor Nicholas Harvey MA, MB, BChir, MRCP, PhD

Professor of Rheumatology and Clinical Epidemiology, Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist

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Professor Nicholas Harvey is Professor of Rheumatology and Clinical Epidemiology within Medicine at the University of Southampton.


BA (Hons), Physiological Sciences, University of Oxford 1995
MB BChir, University of Cambridge 1997
MA, Physiological Sciences, University of Oxford 2003
PhD, University of Southampton 2007
MRCP, Medicine, RCP 2001
CCT, Rheumatology, PMETB 2008
FRCP, Medicine, RCP 2015

Appointments held

10/01-08/08: Wessex Rheumatology Specialist Training Programme

10/03-10/6: Clinical Research Fellow, MRC Epidemiology Resource Centre, University of Southampton

3/07-08/08: NIHR Clinical Lecturer, MRC ERC/ University of Southampton

08/08-03/11: Senior Clinical Research Fellow and Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist, MRC ERC, University of Southampton

03/11-30/09/2014: Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist, MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton

1/10/2014-31/07/2015: Associate Professor and Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist, MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton






Research interests

Prof Harvey’s work has focussed on investigating the factors which influence bone development early in life, a subject which has the potential for great public health impact. His contributions include:

  1. Confirmation that low maternal 25(OH)-vitamin D concentration during pregnancy is associated with reduced bone mass in the offspring (Harvey et al.,JCEM 2008; Javaid et al.,Lancet 2006; Mahon et al.,JBMR 2010);
  2. Confirmation that maternal exercise, fat mass and behaviour during pregnancy influence bone mass (Harvey et al.,JDOHAD 2010) and body composition (Harvey et al.,JCEM 2007; Harvey et al., JCEM 2014) in the offspring;
  3. Demonstration of links between daily physical activity levels, calcium intake and bone strength in a community population of children (Harvey et al.,OI 2012);
  4. Description of relationships between growth in utero, measured using gestational ultrasound scanning, and skeletal development in childhood (Harvey et al.,JBMR 2010, Harvey et al.,PPE 2012; Harvey et al.,Ped Res 2013);
  5. Elucidation of aetiological factors underlying these epidemiological observations, such as the relationship between placental calcium transporters and offspring bone mass (Martin et al.,Bone 2007), and epigenetic regulation of genes in umbilical cord (Harvey et al.,CTI 2012; Harvey et al., JBMR 2014);
  6. Demonstration that bariatric surgery does not appear to increase fracture risk, at least up to 5 years post-surgery (Lalmohamed et al., BMJ 2012).

He leads a programme of work to further elucidate the aetiology of these findings, and to translate these epidemiological and laboratory observations into novel public health strategies aimed at optimizing accrual of bone mineral in early life, thus reducing fracture risk in older age.

For further information regarding the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit (Director, Professor Cyrus Cooper), please go to:


Human Development and Health

Affiliate Department(s)

Human development and physiology Research group

Research project(s)

Epigenetic mechanisms in metabolic bone disease: from pathology to biomarker

Identification of perinatal epigenetic markers of later phenotype

Local Activities

2005-2006: Member Of Southampton Medicine and Elderly Care Peer Review Committee

2010-2014: Lead for Musculoskeletal Medicine Speciality Group, Hampshire and Isle of Wight CLRN

2014-current: Musculoskeletal Speciality Clinical Research Lead, CRN: Wessex

National Activities

2006-current: Abstract Peer Review National Osteoporosis Society Annual Scientific Meetings, Bone Research Society Annual Scientific Meetings

2008-current: Grant Reviewer for MRC, Arthritis Research UK, Stroke UK, National Osteoporosis Society

2006-2008: Chairman Of Registrars’ Club In Osteoporosis (National Special Interest Group, with Biannual Meeting, Inviting Leading Experts To Talk)

2006-2010: Bone Research Society (UK) Committee

2008-current: National Osteoporosis Scientific Programme Committee

2006: External Lecturer, Guys and St Thomas University NHS Trust, Biochemistry BSc Course

2008-2010: Member of British Nutrition Foundation Task Force (Maternal nutrition and offspring health)

2010-current: NIHR HTA Faculty

2014-current: Bone Research Society (UK) Committee

2014-current: Musculoskeletal Clinical Research Specialty Lead, Wessex CRN

2014-current: British Society for Rheumatology Nominated Expert for NICE MTA Osteoporosis Treatment

Current International Activities

Reviewer for “New England Journal of Medicine”, “BMJ”, “Lancet”, “Journal of Bone and Mineral Research”, “Bone”, “Journal Of Clinical Endocrinology And Metabolism”, “Osteoporosis International”, “Calcified Tissue International", “Journal Of Developmental Origins Of Health And Disease”, “American Journal Of Preventative Medicine", “Plos Medicine”, “Rheumatology”, “Archives Of Disease In Childhood" Journals

Grant Reviewer for Medical Research Council, RCUK, Child Health Research Foundation (Cure Kids), New Zealand; Health and Health Services Research Fund, Hong Kong, China; INSERM, France

2014-2015: Member of Scientific Subcommittee Site Panel for INSERM (France)

Abstract Peer Review for IOF World Congress and IOF/ECCEO European Congress

Publication Reviewer For International Osteoporosis Foundation 2010-current

2009-current: DXA lead, UK Biobank Imaging Working Group, Lead author for DXA component of imaging application to phenotype 100,000 of 500,000 participants (£9.6million awarded MRC/Wellcome)

2011-current: Member of International Osteoporosis Foundation Committee of Scientific Advisors (Paediatric Bone Disease, Epidemiology, Fracture working groups)

2014-current: Member of FRAX® International Scientific Management Committee.

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Book Chapters

  • Edwards, M. H., Moon, R. J., Harvey, N. C., & Cooper, C. (2013). Epidemiology and genetics of postmenopausal osteoporosis. In D. Stovall (Ed.), Osteoporosis: Diagnosis and Management (pp. 1-15). John Wiley & Sons.
  • Edwards, M., Moon, R., Harvey, N., & Cooper, C. (2013). Epidemiology of post-menopausal osteoporosis. In D. W. Stovall (Ed.), Osteoporosis: Diagnosis and Management (pp. 1-14). Chichester, GB: Wiley.
  • Harvey, N., Dennison, E., & Cooper, C. (2013). The epidemiology of osteoporosis fractures. In C. J. Rosen, R. Bouillon, J. E. Compston, & V. Rosen (Eds.), Primer on the Metabolic Bone Diseases and Disorders of Mineral Metabolism (pp. 348-356). Washington, US: American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.
  • Geusens, P., Harvey, N. C., & Cooper, C. (2012). Osteoporosis: pathogenesis and clinical features. In J. Bijlsma (Ed.), EULAR Textbook on Rheumatic Diseases (pp. 768-792). London, GB: BMJ Group.
  • Edwards, M. H., Harvey, N. C., Dennison, E. M., & Cooper, C. (2012). Worldwide epidemiology of osteoporosis. In Topics of Osteoporosis and Other Bone Diseases (pp. 1-24). Santiago, CL: Chilean Osteoporosis Foundation.
  • Cooper, C., Goodfellow, L. R., Harvey, N. C., Earl, S., Holroyd, C., Cole, Z. A., & Dennison, E. M. (2010). Placental function and later risk of osteoporosis. In G. J. Burton, D. J. P. Barker, A. Moffett, & K. Thornburg (Eds.), The Placenta and Human Developmental Programming (pp. 216-228). Cambridge, GB: Cambridge University Press.
  • Cooper, C., Harvey, N., Cole, Z., Hanson, M., & Dennison, E. (2009). Developmental origins of osteoporosis: the role of maternal nutrition. In Early Nutrition Programming and Health Outcomes in Later Life: Obesity and Beyond (pp. 31-39). (Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology; Vol. 646, No. 646). London, GB: Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4020-9173-5_3
  • Cooper, C., Westlake, S., Harvey, N., & Dennison, E. (2009). Developmental origins of osteoporotic fracture. In G. Goldberg, A. Prentice, A. Prentice, S. Filteau, & K. Simondon (Eds.), Breast-Feeding: Early Influences on Later Health (pp. 217-236). (Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology; No. 639). Netherlands: Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4020-8749-3
  • Harvey, N., Dennison, E. M., & Cooper, C. (2008). Epidemiology of osteoporotic fractures. In C. Rosen, J. E. Compston, & J. B. Lian (Eds.), Primer on the Metabolic Bone Disease and Disorders of Mineral Metabolism, 7th Edition (pp. 198-203). Washington, US: American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.
  • Harvey, N., Westlake, S., Dennison, E., & Cooper, C. (2006). Epidemiology of osteoporosis (women, men, children). In N. E. Lane, & P. N. Sambrook (Eds.), Osteoporosis and the Osteoporosis of Rheumatic Diseases: A Companion to Rheumatology (pp. 1-13). USA: Mosby.
  • Harvey, N., Earl, S., & Cooper, C. (2006). Epidemiology of osteoporotic fractures. In M. J. Favus (Ed.), Primer on the Metabolic Bone Diseases and Disorders of Mineral Metabolism (pp. 244-248). Durham, USA: American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. DOI: 10.1359/prim.2006.0642



Oversees / provides 4th and 5th year rheumatology teaching

Contributes to Academic F2 teaching programme

Lecture BM4 Course, MMedsci Course

Professor Nicholas Harvey
MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit (University of Southampton) Southampton General Hospital Southampton SO16 6YD Email: Tel: +44 (0) 23 8077 7624 Tel: +44 (0) 23 8070 4021 PA: Mrs Ruth Fifield Email: Tel: +44 (0) 23 8076 4027 Fax: +44 (0) 23 8070 4021

Room Number: SGH/MRC/MP95

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