Leading the way in osteoporosis research

The launch of the Osteoporosis and Bone Research Academy is a breakthrough moment that changes the lives of millions.

The Osteoporosis and Bone Research Academy is the first dedicated academy for osteoporosis. A collaborative venture with patients at its heart, it will work with the leading researchers, clinicians and academics in the field to advance scientific knowledge and work towards a cure for osteoporosis.

The Academy strengthens the charity’s involvement in research and has four overarching aims:

1. Co-ordinate complex work programmes to identify research needed to end osteoporosis
2. Broker new partnerships and collaborations
3. Engage, nurture and back the best and brightest minds to unlock new discoveries
4. Influence future funding for research

The Academy consists of an Academy Advisory Committee which, with the Chair, Vice-Chair and Academy Director, will oversee the outputs of the following three Academy Working Groups.

  • Causes - Understanding the causes and mechanisms of osteoporosis.
  • Technology - Exploring and developing new and innovative technologies.
  • Effectiveness - Understanding the effectiveness of current and potential new diagnostic tools, treatments and interventions.

Public and Patient Involvement

So the needs of people with osteoporosis are at the heart of all the research we do, patients and their representatives form part of all our Academy Committees and Working Groups.

The patient advocate members of the Academy Working Groups champion the work of the Academy. They use their knowledge and experience to provide a unique and valuable perspective, which helps shape the development of the Academy’s research.

Questions about the Academy?

Academy logo

Executive Lead

Lauren Wiggins

Lauren joined the charity in January 2021. Full profile to follow.

Secretary/Treasurer, American Society of Bone and Mineral Research; Professor Emeritus of Bone Medicine Department of Medicine Cambridge

Professor Juliet Compston OBE MD, FRCP, FRCPE, FRCPath, FMedSci is Emeritus Professor of Bone Medicine at Cambridge Biomedical Campus. Her research is focused on the pathophysiology of osteoporosis and the cellular and structural mechanisms by which pharmacological interventions preserve bone mass and reduce fracture risk. She was Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research between 2013-2018 and is currently the Secretary/Treasurer of the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research. She is a past President of the Bone and Tooth Society of Great Britain, the International Society of Bone Morphometry and the European Union Osteoporosis Consultation Panel. She is Chair of the UK National Osteoporosis Guideline Group (NOGG). She has published over 400 original research papers and reviews. In 2006, she was awarded the National Osteoporosis Society Kohn Foundation Award, and in 2009, the International Bone and Mineral Society John G Haddad Jr Award and the ASBMR Frederic C Bartter Award. In 2014 she was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to the treatment of osteoporosis.

Professor of Rheumatology and Clinical Epidemiology, MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton

Nicholas Harvey is Professor of Rheumatology and Clinical Epidemiology at the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton. He is Vice-Chair of the International Osteoporosis Foundation Committee of Scientific Advisors, and he co-leads an MRC programme focused on bone and joint disease. His work incorporates a lifecourse approach to the characterisation of the epidemiology and determinants of osteoporotic fracture from cradle to grave, elucidation of underlying mechanisms, and development of novel interventions. He has won national/international prizes, such as the International Osteoporosis Foundation Medal of Achievement and National Osteoporosis Society Young Scientist Award. He is an investigator on >£50m grant funding, has published over 175 peer-reviewed articles, and is a member of many national/ international committees, including as Musculoskeletal Lead for UK Biobank Imaging Enhancement, and as a member of the American Society of Bone and Mineral Metabolism Research (ASBMR) Professional Practice Committee.

Emeritus Professor of Rheumatology at the University of Aberdeen; Consultant Rheumatologist and Osteoporosis Specialist London Bridge Hospital and King Edwards VII's Hospital

Professor David Reid is Emeritus Professor of Rheumatology at the University of Aberdeen. He is a consultant rheumatologist and has been involved in providing rheumatology and specialist osteoporosis services with a particular emphasis on DXA (bone densitometry) measurement and interpretation for over 30 years. He has published over 300 original papers and reviews. He is a Volunteer Ambassador of the Royal Osteoporosis Society and was Chair of the Board of Trustees from 2008-2012.

Professor of Rheumatology, University of Edinburgh; Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist, NHS Lothian

Professor Stuart Ralston holds the Chair of Rheumatology at Edinburgh University, having previously held the Chair of Medicine and Bone Metabolism at the University of Aberdeen.  He is currently director of Edinburgh University's online distance learning MSc in clinical trials and was director of Edinburgh Clinical Trials Unit between 2009 and 2016.  He holds an honorary consultant rheumatologist position with NHS Lothian where he is clinical lead for the osteoporosis service and clinical director of the rheumatology service.  His research has focused on the molecular and genetic basis of osteoporosis and other bone and joint diseases as well as clinical trials in bone disease. He has a special interest in the pathogenesis and management of Paget’s disease of bone.  He is joint editor-in-chief of Calcified Tissue International and senior editor of Davidson's Principles and Practice of Medicine. He currently chairs the Commission for Human Medicines for the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority of the UK.

Consultant Rheumatologist and Reader in Metabolic Bone Disease, University of Cambridge

Dr Ken Poole is an academic Consultant in Rheumatology and Metabolic Bone Disease at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, and a Reader in the Department of Medicine at the University of Cambridge. He undertook his specialist training in Cambridge under Dr Adrian Crisp, Professor Juliet Compston and Dr Jonathan Reeve and during which he was awarded a  CCT in Rheumatology, a PhD in osteoporosis research and became a FRCP. His clinical and research interests centre on osteoporosis, vertebral & hip fractures, imaging in osteoarthritis and novel therapies for osteoporosis. Ken runs the diagnostic 3D computed tomography (QCT) imaging service and the bone biopsy and histology service from a fully equipped laboratory.  His team provide diagnostic bone biopsy services to centres around the UK. They also provide a monthly specialist bone Multi-Disciplinary Team meeting. He is Royal Osteoporosis Society (formerly the National Osteoporosis Society) accredited to report Bone Densitometry (DXA) scans. Ken serves on the National Osteoporosis Guideline Group (NOGG), the Royal Osteoporosis Society Committee of Scientific Advisors and is a committee member for Arthritis Research UK. He is an advisor to Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust Research Committee, and trustee of the Osteoporosis Fund.


Professor of Adult Bone Diseases, Academic Unit of Bone Metabolism, University of Sheffield

Professor Eugene McCloskey is Professor of Adult Bone Diseases in the Academic Unit of Bone Metabolism at the University of Sheffield. He is Educational Lead and Teaching Coordinator for Musculoskeletal Medicine; the Musculoskeletal Theme Executive; and the Bone Biomedical Research Unit Management Group. He has published approximately 200 original articles in research areas encompassing the treatment of cancer-associated osteolysis, osteoporosis and Paget’s disease, vertebral fracture definition, non-invasive skeletal assessments and the development of the FRAX fracture risk assessment tool. He has served as Secretary of the Bone Research Society; Chair of Ancillary Program Committee of the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research; International Osteoporosis Foundations (IOF) Committee of Scientific Advisors; and Chair of the ISCD/IOF FRAX Clinical Task Force. He is also a Board member of the European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis; a member of the National Osteoporosis Guideline Group (NOGG) and Chair of the NOGG Implementation Group; Lead for SYCLRN Musculoskeletal Local Priority Group and member of Musculoskeletal National Specialty Group; Editorial Boards (Osteoporosis International, Journal of Bone and Mineral Research and Future Rheumatology).

Professor of Rheumatology at the University of Bristol; Consultant Rheumatologist at North Bristol Trust

Jonathan Tobias is Professor of Rheumatology at the University of Bristol, UK, and Consultant Rheumatologist at North Bristol Trust. Following undergraduate studies in medicine at Cambridge University and London University from where he qualified in 1984, he completed MD and PhD theses in bone biology in 1990 and 1994, at St George’s Hospital in London. He was appointed as Consultant Senior Lecturer at the University of Bristol in 1995, and is currently co-director of the University of Bristol Musculoskeletal Research Unit, and Head of Section within the Department of Translational Health Sciences. He manages a diverse research programme into the causes and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions, particularly osteoporosis, with over 240 publications (including 180 peer-reviewed original research papers) in this field. He also has extensive clinical experience in treating patients with osteoporosis, and in running DXA-based osteoporosis diagnostic services. He has served on the editorial boards of Calcified Tissue International, Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, and Rheumatology, on the Heberden committee of the British Society for Rheumatology, on the research committee of Arthritis Research UK, and on NICE appraisal and guideline committees, and was President of the UK Bone Research Society (2010-12). He is currently a member of the Medicines for Women’s Health Expert Advisory Group of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, editor of the Bone Research section of Frontiers in Endocrinology, and chair of the Royal Osteoporosis Society Research Committee.

Head, Centre for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism; Consultant Endocrinologist and Honorary Professor of Endocrinology; Associate Medical Director Queen Elizabeth Hospital; University Hospitals Birmingham & University of Birmingham

Professor Neil Gittoes graduated in 1990 from the University of Birmingham with BSc (Hons), MBChB (Hons), and was later awarded a PhD in Molecular Endocrinology and was supported by a prestigious MRC Career Establishment Grant. He is currently Consultant Endocrinologist in Birmingham and Honorary Professor of Endocrinology at the University of Birmingham; he is Head of the Centre for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. He leads the metabolic bone diseases unit in Birmingham and additionally leads a number of national work streams through the Royal Osteoporosis Society  as Trustee and Chair of the Clinical and Scientific Committee. He works closely with the Society for Endocrinology and Royal College of Physicians, leading on Genomics in Mainstream Medicine (endocrinology). He advises NICE and the BNF on bone metabolism therapies and is Clinical Lead for the NICE Guideline on Primary Hyperparathyroidism. He has been honoured by award of the Goulstonian Lectureship, Royal College of Physicians. Neil is Vice-Chairman of the Clinical Reference Group for Specialised Endocrinology, NHSE. He is Vice-Chairman of Council of the West Midlands Clinical Senate, NHSE and Clinical Vice-Chair of the West Midlands Subcommittee of the Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards (ACCEA), Department of Health. He has published widely and has lectured at many national and international conferences. He sits on editorial boards of four journals; he has wide experience in multiple modalities of peer review. His main clinical and research interests focus on disorders of calcium homeostasis and rare causes of fracture susceptibility.

Professor of Rheumatology and Director of the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit; Vice-Dean of Medicine at the University of Southampton; Professor of Epidemiology at the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford

Professor Cyrus Cooper OBE, DL MA, DM, FRCP, FFPH, FMedSci leads an internationally competitive programme of research into the epidemiology of musculoskeletal disorders, most notably osteoporosis. Key research contributions have included the 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; characterization of the definition and incidence rates of vertebral fractures; and leadership of large randomized controlled trials of calcium and vitamin D supplementation in the elderly as immediate preventative strategies against hip fracture.  He is Chairman of the Committee of Scientific Advisors, International Osteoporosis Foundation; Chair of the Arthritis Research UK Clinical Studies Initiative; Chair of the BHF Project Grants Committee; 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 National 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 over 750 research papers on osteoporosis and rheumatic disorders and has been identified recently as among the 400 most influential biomedical researchers worldwide and the highest ranked within the bone field.  He was awarded the inaugural Duchess of Cornwall Award in February 2009. In 2015 he was named Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his outstanding services to medical research, and in 2017 was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant (DL) of Hampshire.

Professor of Musculoskeletal Pharmacology, Botnar Research Centre, University of Oxford and Mellanby Bone Research Unit, University of Sheffield

Professor Russell is honorary president of the Pagets Association and has authored more than 500 publications.  His research interests have included bone cell biology, pathogenic mechanisms in bone and joint diseases such as arthritis, myeloma, bone metastases, and osteoporosis, the evaluation of new therapeutic agents and their mode of action, and the pharmacology of bone and cartilage.  He has held several national and international appointments in scientific and charitable activities related to bone disease and arthritis including Chairman of the Oliver Bird Committee (Nuffield Foundation), Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the National Association for Pagets Disease (UK), several Research Committees including the MRC, Research into Ageing, and the Arthritis Research UK, President of the International Bone and Mineral Society. Among awards, he was Heberden Orator of the BSR in 1993, and was recipient of the John B. Johnson award of the Paget’s Foundation (USA) in 1997, and the Kohn award of the NOS in 2000. He received the W F Neuman award of the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research in 2000. This is the most senior award of the ASBMR and he was the first British scientist to receive it. In 2007 he received the Pieter Gaillard Founders award of the IBMS, and in 2008 was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London. In 1986 he was one of the founding members of the National Osteoporosis Society (NOS, UK) (now known as the Royal Osteoporosis Society), which has grown to become one of the largest national charities devoted to osteoporosis, and from 2000-2002 he was Chairman of its Council of Management.

Chief executive and Medical Director of the UK Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management

Peter Lees is the chief executive and medical director of the UK Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management (FMLM). As Founding Director of FMLM, he was charged by the UK medical royal colleges and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges with leading the establishment of the organisation which became an independent charity on January 1, 2019. FMLM is now the second largest medical leadership organisation worldwide with over 2,000 members. It jointly owns the journal BMJ Leader and the international leadership conference, Leaders in Healthcare. In the past, Peter combined a career in neurosurgery with senior roles in operational management and leadership development at regional and national levels and in global health. Formerly he was Medical Director, Director of Workforce and Education and Director of Leadership at NHS South Central Strategic Health Authority and Senior Lecturer in Neurosurgery at the University of Southampton. In 2017 Peter was appointed Honorary Visiting Professor at Cass Business School, City, University of London. 

Lay member and patient advocate

Mary Bishop has been a member of charity since 2016, and has career experience in health and social care, working for many years with disabled people. Whilst working at a London teaching hospital charity she was involved in supporting the Charity to fund clinical research, meeting regularly with a range of consultants who led research into their own areas of expertise and brought forward their applications for grants to Trustees. She also has extensive experience of good governance in the assessment of different types of charity grant applications.

Lay member and patient advocate

Nic Vine has been involved in patient advocacy and promoting the ‘patient as partner’ model for many years. He is a past Chair and Trustee of the Meniere’s Society UK, has worked as Public Contributor on NIHR committees, and has participated in PHE and CQC campaigns. Currently he is a Patient Champion at the Royal Osteoporosis Society (ROS) and a PPIE member of the National Osteoporosis Guideline Group (NOGG) and the Fracture Liaison Service Implementation Group (FLS-IG). At ROS and NOGG he is a contributing author on clinical guidelines and author of related Information for Patients leaflets. In parallel Nic has had a long career in business, as a project and change manager, working from the coal-face to the boardroom. He is now a mentor to young project managers, an author and a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Greenwich Business School. In the summer Nic goes sailing with his wife in their small yacht.

I really welcome the Royal Osteoporosis Society's commitment to involving patients and the public in all areas of their work. I hope that by being part of a team of patient advocates in the Academy, we can help to share our insights from a patient perspective - contributing to the relevance and effectiveness of research.

Academy Advisory Committee Patient Advocate - Mary Bishop

Further information:

We’re driving research and the development of new treatments, working towards a future without osteoporosis.

How you can help