• Professor Cyrus Cooper
  • MA, DM, FRCP, FFPH, FMedSci
  • Director and Professor of Rheumatology

Cyrus Cooper is Professor of Rheumatology and Director of the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit at the University of Southampton, and Chair of Musculoskeletal Science at the University of Oxford. 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 and quinquennial funding extended to 2015. 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 pragmatic randomised controlled trials of calcium and vitamin D supplementation in the elderly as immediate preventative strategies against hip fracture.

Professor Cooper is immediate past-President of the Bone Research Society of Great Britain and Chairman of the Committee of Scientific Advisors, International Osteoporosis Foundation. He has previously served as Chairman of the National Osteoporosis Society and has worked on numerous Department of Health, European Community and World Health Organisation committees and working groups. He is Chair of the MRC Population Health Sciences Research Network; Associate Director of Research at the University of Southampton Medical School; and Associate Editor of Osteoporosis International. He has published extensively (over 450 research papers) on osteoporosis and rheumatic disorders and pioneered clinical studies on the developmental origins of peak bone mass.

Committee Membership
  • Member, Arthritis and Rheumatism Council Research Sub-committee, 1996 – 2000
  • Chairman, Advisory Specialist Education Committee, South and West Regional Rheumatology Division, 1998-2002
  • Advisory Member, WHO Informal Consultation on Osteoporosis: a Global Strategy for Osteoporosis Management and Prevention, 1998-2002
  • Chair, Scientific Advisory Board, National Osteoporosis Society, 1998-2001
  • MRC Representative, British Medical Association, Medical Academic Staff Committee, 1996-2004
  • Advisory Committee on Distinction Awards, South East Region, 2000-2004
  • Chairman, ARC Clinical Trials Committee, 2001-2006
  • Director of Research, University of Southampton Medical School, 2002-2005
  • Professional Practice Committee, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, 2002-current
  • NICE Guideline Development Group, 2003-current
  • MRC representative, Specialist Training Authority of the Medical Royal Colleges, 2003-2007
  • Chairman Elect, National Osteoporosis Society of Great Britain, 2003-2007
  • Member Physiological Sciences and Clinical Sciences Board, Medical Research Council 2006 to current
  • Vice-Chair, MRC Population Health Sciences Research Network 2005 to current
  • Member BHF Chairs and Programmes Grants Committee, 2003 to current
  • President, Bone Research Society of Great Britian, 2008-2010
  • Chair, Committee of Scientific Advisers, International Osteoporosis Foundation, 2007 to current