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Professor Cyrus Cooper listed as top medicine scientist in UK

A new list of top medicine scientists has ranked Southampton’s Prof Cyrus Cooper number one in the UK.

This first edition of top scientists ranking for Medicine was published by, one of the major websites for Medicine research offering credible data on scientific contributions since 2014.

Professor Cyrus Cooper from the NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre was number one in the UK, and number 16 on the worldwide list.

International reputation

Prof Cooper leads an internationally competitive programme of research into the epidemiology of musculoskeletal disorders, most notably osteoporosis.

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

He has published extensively (over 1,200 research papers, h-index 220) on the causes and prevention of osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and sarcopenia. In 2015, he was awarded an OBE for services to medical research.

His research contributed to the discovery of an association between mothers not getting enough Vitamin D in pregnancy and their children having reduced bone mass. This had a major influence on public health policy (NICE Guidelines on Maternal Nutrition) through a recommendation to optimise vitamin D status during pregnancy.

Elderly people who have low trauma or ‘fragility’ fractures to their bones, caused by something such as a fall from standing height or less, are at high risk of another. Vitamin D and calcium supplements are often recommended to prevent further fractures. However, Prof Cooper’s research has shown these supplements are ineffective at preventing such fractures occurring a second time.

Worldwide ranking

The ranking contains h-index, publications and citations values collected on December 6th, 2021. It is based on a meticulous examination of 166,880 scientists on Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic Graph. For the discipline of Medicine, over 65,743 profiles were examined.

Four other Southampton researchers were also on the list. Professor Sir Stephen Holgate was number 25 on the UK list and 217 on the worldwide list, while Professor David Barker was number 27 and 225. Professor Clive Osmond was 74 and 641, and Professor Philip Calder was number 82 and 788.

Professor Cooper said: "While league tables are one means of expressing the value of scientific endeavour, they do not capture the sustainability, impact and legacy of scientific discoveries. Nor do they emphasise the teamwork necessary to make genuine epistemologic progress.

“I have had a wonderful team, and have now reached the stage in life where I learn from my former students. It is to my dearest wife, family, and these friends, co-workers and mentors over so many years, that any credit should justly be directed."


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