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University staff recognised in Queen's New Year Honours List

Published: 
30 December 2014

Two members of staff from the University of Southampton have been recognised in the Queen's New Year Honours List.

Cyrus Cooper, Professor of Rheumatology and Director of the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, has been awarded an OBE for services to medical research, while Colin Miles, a Facilities Manager within Physical Sciences and Engineering, has been awarded a British Empire Medal for services to higher education.

Professor Cooper leads an internationally competitive programme of research into the epidemiology of musculoskeletal disorders, most notably osteoporosis. His key research contributions have been the discovery of the developmental influences that contribute to the risk of osteoporosis and hip fracture in late adulthood; the demonstration that maternal vitamin D insufficiency is associated with sub-optimal bone mineral accrual in childhood; characterisation of the definition and incidence rates of vertebral fracture; and leadership of large pragmatic randomised controlled trials of calcium and vitamin D supplementation in the elderly, as immediate preventative strategies against hip fracture.

Professor Cooper comments: “I’m surprised and delighted to be recognised with this very special honour. I am fortunate to have been involved in working on the causes and prevention of musculoskeletal disorders, a major cause of ill health and disability. Throughout my career I have been privileged to work with outstanding colleagues in both academia and the clinical setting, who are very much part of this achievement.

“I am also indebted to the Medical Research Council for their continuous support of my research over almost three decades. I hope that I can continue to make a difference as we seek to develop and improve the health of our population across the lifecourse.”

Colin Miles has devoted over 35 years to the University of Southampton as Facilities Manager within Physics and Astronomy at the University. He provides technical support for teaching and research requirements in the University’s state-of-the-art research labs, and manages technical staff across various disciplines, such as mechanical and electronic workshops, teaching labs, procurement and research group technicians. Colin’s duties also include being the buildings manager and safety officer.

Colin comments: “I am delighted to be recognised with this honour, it came as a great surprise. When I moved to Southampton from the University of Oxford in 1978 it was with a great deal of trepidation, but with the support of the staff within Physics and Astronomy, and the University in general, it has been a wonderful career.

“Over my years, I have had the pleasure of working with some wonderful people. The relationship between the academic staff and the technical staff has made my role so much easier and worthwhile.”

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton, Professor Don Nutbeam, says: “Through his extensive body of work, Professor Cooper has made essential contributions across several key areas of medical research and healthcare. I am delighted that his pioneering work has been recognised with this prestigious honour.

“Colin is an outstanding University manager whose career has been dedicated to the delivery and improvement of higher education. His immense contribution to seek continuous improvement in the standard of service and facilities offered by the University’s laboratories and other facilities has been invaluable.”

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