Cyrus Cooper is Professor of Rheumatology and Director of the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit; Vice-Dean of Medicine at the University of Southampton; and Professor of Musculoskeletal Science at the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford.
- Key research contributions have been:
- discovery of the developmental influences which contribute to the risk of osteoporosis and hip fracture in late adulthood
- 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 fractures
- leadership of large pragmatic randomised controlled trials of calcium and vitamin D supplementation in the elderly as immediate preventative strategies against hip fracture
Current PhD Students
External roles and responsibilities
Professor Cooper graduated from the University of Cambridge and St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London in 1980, and completed his residency in 1985 at the Southampton University Hospitals. In 1990, he won an MRC Travelling Fellowship to the Mayo Clinic, USA, where he continued his research in osteoporosis. He returned to the UK in 1992 to take up a position as Senior Lecturer in Rheumatology and MRC Senior Clinical Scientist. He was promoted to the foundation Chair in Rheumatology at the University of Southampton in 1997 while continuing as an MRC Senior Clinical Scientist at the MRC Environmental Epidemiology Unit; in 2003 he was appointed Director of the MRC Epidemiology Resource Centre, University of Southampton. In 2010, this was reconfigured as the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit (until 2020); quinquennial funding for a newly reconfigured MRC Centre has been secured from 2020 to 2025, ensuring continuous personal support for the Director by MRC for over 30 years.
Professor Cooper leads an internationally competitive programme of research into the epidemiology of musculoskeletal disorders, most notably osteoporosis. His key research contributions have been: 1) discovery of the developmental influences which contribute to the risk of osteoporosis and hip fracture in late adulthood; 2) demonstration that maternal vitamin D insufficiency is associated with sub-optimal bone mineral accrual in childhood; 3) characterisation of the definition and incidence rates of vertebral fractures; 4) leadership of large randomised controlled trials of maternal vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy, as preventative strategies against osteoporosis in the offspring; and 5) leadership of national and international randomised controlled trials evaluating the effectiveness of risk stratification in primary and secondary fracture prevention.
Professor Cooper is President of the International Osteoporosis Foundation; Chair of the Versus Arthritis UK Clinical Studies Initiative; Chair of BHF Project Grants Committee until 2019; Vice-Dean at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton Medical School; an NIHR Senior Investigator; and Associate Editor of Osteoporosis International. He has previously served as Chairman of the MRC Population Health Sciences Research Network; Chairman of the Royal Osteoporosis Society of Great Britain; past-President of the Bone Research Society of Great Britain; and has worked on numerous Department of Health, European Community and World Health Organisation committees and working groups. He has published extensively (over 1288 research papers; h-index 228) on osteoporosis and rheumatic disorders and pioneered clinical studies on the developmental origins of peak bone mass. He has received the Duchess of Cornwall Award (2011); IOF Pierre Delmas award (2014) and Olof Johnell medal (2017). In 2015, he was awarded an OBE for services to medical research; in 2016 he was appointed as Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire; and in 2017 a Non-Executive Director of University Hospitals NHS Trust Southampton.
- BA (Hons), Medical Sciences, Cambridge (1977)
- MBBS, Medicine, London (1980)
- MA, Medical Sciences, Cambridge (1983)
- MRCP (UK), Medicine, London (1983)
- DM, Epidemiology, University of Southampton (1989)
- FRCP (UK), Medicine, London (1996)
- FMedSci, Medical Sciences, London (2000)
- FFPH, Medicine, London (2005)
- MRC Environmental Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton: Clinical Scientist/Senior Lecturer 1992 - 1997
- Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA: MRC Travelling Fellow/Assistant Prof. 1990 - 1992
- Bristol Royal Infirmary: Senior Registrar in Rheumatology 1988 - 1990
Senior Academic Responsibilities (2003 – current)
- Chairman, Board of Trustees of the National Osteoporosis Society of Great Britain, 2003-2007.
- Chair, Committee of Scientific Advisors, International Osteoporosis Foundation, 2006-current.
- Member, Physiological Sciences and Clinical Sciences Board, Medical Research Council, 2006-2010.
- Member, MRC Population Health Sciences Group, 2010 – current.
- Chair, MRC Population Health Sciences Research Network, 2009-2015.
- President, Bone Research Society, 2008-2010.
- I.R.M.O. External Scientific Committee, University of Florence, 2009 – current.
- Vice-Dean, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, 2011 – current.
- Member, Sectional Committee, Academy of Medical Sciences, 2012-current.
- Sub-Panel Membership REF 2014, Clinical Medicine UoA 1, 2012-current.
- Member, International Advisory Board, Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, 2013 – current.
- Chair, Sectional Committee 4, Academy of Medical Sciences, 2014-current.
- Elected to Fellowship, Royal Society of Biology, 2016.
- Chair, Arthritis Research UK Clinical Studies Initiative, 2013–current.
- Chair of the BHF Project Grants Committe 2013-2019.
- Office of the Order of the British Empire (2015)
- Olof Johnell Science Award International Osteopotosis Foundation (2018)
- Charles Dent Research Award (2018)
- Pierre Delmas Prize (2014)
- NIHR Senior Investigators Award Renewal (2014)
- Clinical Excellence Award Platinum Renewal (2014)
- Thompson Reuters Highly Sited Award 2015-2018 (2015)
- IOF Olof Johnell Science Award (2018)
- David Barker Research Award (2015)
- International Osteoporosis Foundation Pierre Delmas Award (2014)