Alasdair Hamish Robert Wallace Simpson



Current post:       George Harrison Law Professor of Orthopaedics & Trauma,

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Royal Infirmary of  Edinburgh, Little France, Edinburgh EH16 4SU

                              Head of Musculoskeletal Research Unit, Level 3 Pathology Department,

      Medical School, University of Edinburgh Teviot Place, Edinburgh EH8 9AG



Address:                     Department of Orthopaedic Surgery & Trauma

                                    Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh

                                    Little France


                                    EH16 4SU


Education:                   Queens’ College, Cambridge                   

                                    Medical sciences tripos

                                                Natural sciences tripos

                                                                        Advanced physics & Experimental psychology

                                                Christ Church, Oxford           

                                                                        Clinical course, Radcliffe Infirmary

                                                        Finals dissertation on ‘The effects of magnetic fields on biological tissue’



Degrees:         BA (Hons)                                         1978

                        BM, BCh (Oxon)                                1981

                        MA (Cantab)                                      1981

                        FRCS (Edinburgh and England)           1986

                        DM (Oxon)                                        1993



Memberships: British Orthopaedic Association

                        Bone and Tooth Society

                        British Trauma Society

                        British Limb Reconstruction Society

                        British Society of Children’s Orthopaedic Surgery

                        British Connective Tissue Society

                        Orthopaedic Research Society (American & European)

                        Girdlestone Society



Executive Committees: British Limb Reconstruction Society – President (2005-7)  

                        British Orthopaedic Research Society - President (2004-6)

                        Association of Professors of Orthopaedic Surgery-President (2003-5)


Honours:              Hunterian Professor of Royal College of Surgeons of England

                              ABC Travelling Fellow

Eleanor Peel Research Fellow

British Orthopaedic Association Research Fellow

British Orthopaedic Research Society President’s Medal 1998


Previous Posts:        1998-2000 Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Oxford University

and Honorary Consultant, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre NHS trust, Oxford.

1992-1997 Reader in Orthopaedic Surgery, Oxford University

and Honorary Consultant, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre NHS trust, Oxford.

                              1992-  Fellow, St Peter’s College, Oxford

Lady Eleanor Peel Research Fellow 1992

BOA research Fellow 1989


Graduate supervision and other graduate teaching undertaken.

I have supervised 15 students for doctoral theses and 2 for masters theses in the last 10 years. All of these graduates have successfully obtained their degrees.

I have also supervised multiple final year pre-clinical student dissertation projects.


University Examining

As Head of the Edinburgh University department of Trauma & Orthopaedics, I am responsible for teaching, assessment & examinations for the musculoskeletal system for the medical students.

I have acted as external examiner for doctorates for the Universities of Belfast, Edinburgh, Leicester, Manchester, Oxford, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham and Southampton.

I am an external examiner for the medical undergraduate course at the University of Aberdeen

and an external examiner for the Cardiff University MSc in Orthopaedic Engineering .



Additional Activities at National and International Level

From 1997  I have been on the Editorial board of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery which is the major journal of the orthopaedic and trauma community with a circulation of  over  20,000.

In 2001  I became an associate Editor for Trauma and Orthopaedics.

I am a member of the European Orthopaedic Research editorial board of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery and an associate editor for the international edition of Orthopaedics and Traumatology.

I also review for The American Journal of Orthopaedic Research; Injury;  Engineering in Physics and Medicine & The Croatian Medical Journal.

I am Honorary Secretary of Committee of SIROT (Societe Internationale Research Orthopaedie & Trauma ) and a Founding Fellow of the International Society of Mechanical Effects on tissues (MTR).

I have acted as reviewer for charities and for multiple health regions and I am on the Engineering and Physics Research Council’s (EPSRC) advisory board.

I was awarded a Hunterian Professorship of the Royal College of Surgeons of England for 1999/2000.

And in 2002 I was selected to give the inaugural Al Hammadi Lecture for the RCS Edinburgh

As Honorary Secretary of the British Orthopaedic Research Society I ran the Society for 3 years and was instrumental in bringing in a number of changes. I have recently been elected President  from 2003.  I am now Honorary Secretary of the Association of Professors of Orthopaedic Surgery & Education Secretary for the British Limb Reconstruction Society.  

I am Chairman of the Special Advisory Board in Orthopaedics of The Royal College of Surgeons of  Edinburgh and a co-opted member of Council of the RCS as well as sitting on the Joint Committee for Higher Surgical Training.


Research Grants


1989 The Wishbone Trust

The investigation of the effect of varying mechanical environments on peripheral nerve tissue.

1989 Action Research (with G Goldspink, J Kenwright)

            The investigation of the effect of varying mechanical environments on muscle.

1990 Alan Sharp Scholarship

            To study in the unit of Professor Ilizarov in Siberia.

1993 Action Research

The prevention and correction of contractures associated with limb lengthening.

1994 The Wishbone Trust

The characterization of the pattern of 3-D movement at fracture and osteotomy sites.

1995 The Wishbone Trust

            The adhesion and behaviour of bone cells and bacteria on polymethyl methacrylate gels.

1995 Oxfordshire Region Grant

            For randomised prospective trail of the treatment of ruptured achilles tendons.

1996 Research into Ageing

            Falls in the elderly – will certain floor surfaces reduce serious fracture incidence?

1996 Wishbone Grant

            Investigation of the application of Fuzzy logic for EMG processing.

1997 The Wishbone Trust (with H Brownlow)

A determination of the critical length of avascularity required for atrophic non-union formation

1997 Chartered Society of Physiotherapists

            The effect on muscle function of surgical correction of leg length deformities using the Ilizarov external fixator: implications for physiotherapy practice

1997 Genetics Institute Inc.

            Acceleration of Distraction Osteogenesis consolidation phase using rhBMP-2 in a rabbit model

1997 Oxfordshire Health Authority (with M Wood)

            The effect of drugs on new bone formation during leg lengthening

1997 The Wishbone Trust and University non-recurrent equipment grant

            Equipment (Hip Walk)

1997 Porton Down (DERA, PLSD) (with J Kenwright)

            Assessment of external fixation systems for fracture care which might be appropriate for the military

1998 Arthritis and Rheumatism Council (with D Porter & A Monaco)

Correlation of Genetic Mutation with Disease Severity in Hereditary Multiple Exostoses.

1998 Oxfordshire Health Authority (with M Levy)

            In-vitro investigation of mature human muscle-derived cells as a source of mesenchymal stem cells

1998 Oxfordshire Health Authority (with H Brownlow)

            Research into the biological aspects of development of non-union formation

1998 Wellcome Trust (with J O’Connor)

            A method for examining the in-vivo mechanical strains that act upon the repair tissue of bone fractures and their influence on healing outcome

2000 Action Research (with P. Williams & E Goldspink)

                Regeneration of muscle after limb lengthening

2000 Scottish Office (with D Salter & P Gaston)

            Use of PCR for diagnosing bone and joint infections

2001 SHEFC (1.1Million) (with B Noble)

Establishment of the Scottish Mechanotransduction Consortium

2002 Medlink  (250,000)

            Investigation of Precision dissection using ultrasonics

2003 Arthritis & Rheumatism Research Council   (600,000)

            Support of Arthritis research in Edinburgh

2003 Medical Research Council (45,000)

            Discipline hopping award


PUBLICATIONS of original articles in peer reviewed journals:


IMR Lowdon, AHRW Simpson, P Burge.  Recurrent dorsal trans-scaphoid perilunate dislocation.  Journal of Hand Surgery (1984) 3:307

AHRW Simpson.  The blood supply of the periosteum.  Journal of Anatomy (1985) 140:697-704

WHF Thomson, AHRW Simpson, JL Wheeler.  Mathematical prediction of ileal pouch capacity.  British Journal of Surgery (1987) 74:567-68

AHRW Simpson & WHF Thomson.  Technical modifications making on-table wash-out easier.  British Journal of Surgery (1987) 7:464-465

AHRW Simpson, JO Kilby.  Inferior vena cava thrombosis after a cycle ride.  Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (1988) 81:739-40

AHRW Simpson, PS Unwin, IW Nelson.  Head injuries, helmets, cycle lanes and cyclists.  British Medical Journal (1988) 296:1161-62

AHRW Simpson, DM Williamson, T Creasy, D Wilson, J Spivey.  Cystic degeneration of fibrous dysplasia masquerading as sarcoma.  Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (1989) 71B:434-436

AHRW Simpson, K Varty, CAF Dodd.  Dynamic hip screws: modes of failure.  Injury (1989) 20:227-31

Ford GA, AHRW Simpson, Gear MW, Wilkinson SP.  Duodenal ulceration into the cystic artery.  Postgraduate Medical Journal (1990) 66(772):144-146

AHRW Simpson, DG Calvert, BW Codling.  The shrinking seminoma.  Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (1990) 83:187-188

AHRW Simpson, DM Williamson, SJ Golding, GR Houghton.  Major thoracic spine translocation without cord injury.  Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (1990) 72B:80-83

G Broome, AHRW Simpson, J Catalan, RJ Jefferson, GR Houghton.  The modified Schollner costoplasty.  Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (1990) 72B:894-900

M Gibbons and AHRW Simpson.  Diving into the unknown.  British Medical Journal (1991) 302:963-64

NJ Derbyshire, AHRW Simpson.  The role of ultrasound in limb lengthening.  British Journal of Radiology (1992) 65:576-80

T Hems, AHRW Simpson.  Prevention of hand injuries in cycle accidents.  Journal of Trauma (1992) 32:683-685

AHRW Simpson, J Mineiro. Prevention of bicycle accidents. Injury (1992) 23:171-173

PE Williams, AHRW Simpson, P Kyberd, G Goldspink, J Kenwright.  Physiological and structural changes in the anterior tibialis muscle following surgical limb lengthening.  Journal of Physiology (1992) 44:571

R Gundle, AHRW Simpson.  Should women attending fracture clinics be counselled about osteoporosis?  Injury (1993) 24:441-442

JP Ivory, AHRW Simpson, GT Toogood, P McLardy-Smith, JW Goodfellow.  Bilateral knee replacements; staged or simultaneous?  Journal of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (1993) 38:105-107

T Theologis, R Jefferson, AHRW Simpson, A Turner-Smith, J Fairbank.  Quantifying the cosmetic defect of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.  Spine (1993) 18:909-912

T Gardner, M Evans, AHRW Simpson, AR Turner-Smith.  3-dimensional movement at externally fixated tibial fractures and osteotomies during normal patient function.  Journal of Clinical Biomechanics (1994) 9:1:51-59

P Kyberd, P Williams, AHRW Simpson, G Goldspink, J Kenwright.  The response of mammalian muscle to distraction.  Journal of engineering in medicine.  (1994) Vol 208:111-118

DJ Beard, CAF Dodd, H Trundle, AHRW Simpson.  Proprioception enhancement for anterior cruciate ligament deficiency; a randomised trial.  Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery [Br]  (1994) 76(4):654-659

(DJ Beard, PJ Kyberd, CAF Dodd, AHRW Simpson, JJ O'Connor.  Proprioception in the knee.  (letter) Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery [Br]  (1994) 76-B:992-993

MF Gargan, AHRW Simpson, R Gundle.  How effective are osteotomies?  Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery [Br]   (1994) 76(5):789-792

PE Williams, AHRW Simpson, PJ Kyberd, J Kenwright, G Goldspink.  Structural changes in the tibialis anterior muscle following distraction of the tibia.  Basic and Applied Myology  (1994) 4(4):431-437

TJW Spalding, J Kiss, P Kyberd, AHRW Simpson.  The recovery of driver reaction times following total knee replacement.  Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery [Br]  (1994) 76-B: 754-756

AHRW Simpson, A Porter, A Davis, A Griffin, RS McLeod, RS Bell.  Cephalad sacral resection with a combined extended ilioinguinal and posterior approach.  Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery [Am]  (1995) 77-A:405-411

S Deo, M Gibbons, M Emerton, AHRW Simpson.  Total hip replacements in renal transplant patients.  Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery [Br] (1995) 77-B(2):299-302

AHRW Simpson, PE Williams, P Kyberd, G Goldspink, J Kenwright.  The response of muscle to leg lengthening.  Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery [Br]. (1995) 77(4):630-636

CLMH Gibbons, S Gregg-Smith, TW Carrell, DW Murray, AHRW Simpson.  The use of the Russell-Taylor reconstruction nail in femoral shaft fractures.  Injury .  (1995) 26(6): 389-392.

R Gundle, MF Gargan, AHRW Simpson.  How to minimize failures of fixation of unstable intertrochanteric fracture.  Injury (1995) 26(9):611-614.

Li Zhao, AHRW Simpson, J Kenwright.  Four-dimensional correction of severe clubfoot deformity with a particular reference to the tension-stress priniciple.

      International Medical Journal (1996) 3(2):125-132.

J Webb, G Herling, T Gardner, AHRW Simpson, J Kenwright.  Manual assessment of fracture stiffness.  Injury (1996) Vol. 27(5):319-320

G Li, AHRW Simpson, J Kenwright, JT Triffitt.  Cell proliferation as assessed by expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen or the uptake of bromodeoxyuridine in leg-lengthening.  V.C.O.T. (1996) 9:95-100.

AH Simpson, JL Cunningham, J Kenwright.  The forces which develop in the tissues during leg lengthening.  A clinical study.  Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery [Br] (1996) 78(6):979-983

JP Chitnavis, AHRW Simpson, CMLH Gibbons, M Hirigoyen, J Lloyd Parry.  Accidents with Horses:  what has changed in 20 years?  Injury (1996) 27(2):103-105

W Wang, DJ Ferguson, JM Quinn, AHRW Simpson, NA Athansou.  Biomaterial particle phagocytosis by bone-resorbing osteoclasts.  Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery  (1997) 79(5):849-856

C Phillippe, DE Porter, ME Emerton, DE Wells, AHRW Simpson, AP Monaco.  Mutation screening of the EXT1 and EXT2 genes in patients with hereditary multiple exostoses.  Am-J-Hum-Genet (1997) 61(3):520-528

S Yang, M Alnaqeeb, AHRW Simpson, G Goldspink.  Cloning and characterization of an IGF-1 isoform expressed in skeletal muscle subjected to stretch.  Journal of Muscle Research and Cell Motility (1997) 17(4):487-495

W Wang, DJP Ferguson, JMW Quinn, AHRW Simpson, NA Athanasou.  Osteoclasts are capable of particle phagocytosis and bone resorption.  Journal of Pathology (1997) Vol. 182: 92-98

AHRW Simpson, T Gardner, M Evans, G Herling, J Kenwright.  Prevention of deformity during leg lengthening.  Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research (1997) 341: 224-232

TN Gardner, M Evans, AHRW Simpson, PJ Kyberd, J Kenwright.  A method of examining the magnitude and origin of “soft” and “hard” tissue forces resisting limb lengthening.  Med. Eng. Phys.; Vol. 19 (5): 405-411 (1997)

G Li, AHRW Simpson, J Kenwright, JT Triffitt.  Assessment of cell proliferation in regenerating bone during distraction osteogenesis at different distraction rates.  Journal of Orthopaedic Research (1997) 15(5):765-772

TN Gardner, M Evans, H Simpson.  Temporal variation of applied inter fragmentary displacement at a bone fracture in harmony with maturation of the fracture callus.  Medical Engineering and Physics  (1998) 20: 480-484

P Williams, P Kyberd, H Simpson, J Kenwright, G Goldspink.  The morphological basis of increased stiffness of tibialis anterior muscles during surgical limb-lengthening.  Journal of Anatomy (1998) 193:131-138

G Li, AHRW Simpson, JT Triffitt.  Expression of BMP-4 during distraction osteogenesis.  Acta Orthopaedica Scandinavica (1998) 69(4):420-425

RJ Sharp, AHRW Simpson.  Post operative swelling in Ilizarov leg lengthening.  Injury (1998); 29(9): 717-718.

G Li, AHRW Simpson, J Kenwright, JT Triffitt.  Effect of lengthening rate on angiogenesis during distraction osteogenesis.  J Orthop Rsch (1999); 17 (Vol.3): 362-367

G Li, AHRW Simpson, JT Triffitt.  The role of chondrocytes in intramembranous and endochondral ossification during distraction osteogenesis.  Calcif Tissue Int (1999) 64:310-317

DE Porter, AHRW Simpson.  The neoplastic pathogenesis of solitary and multiple osteochondromas.  J. Pathol. (1999); 188: 119-125

KL Barker, AHRW Simpson.  Joint stiffness – knee range of motion during limb lengthening.  J Bone & Joint Surg. (1999); 81-B

W Wang, A Sabokbar, AHRW Simpson, NA Athanasou.  The effect of interleukin-1b, tumour necrosis factor a and particle phagocytosis on monocyte-osteoclast differentiation.  Hip International (1999); 9(4): 178-185

P Armstrong, I Ilyas, R Pandey, AR Berendt, CP Conlon, AHRW Simpson.  Pyoderma Gangrenosum.  A diagnosis not to be missed.  J Bone Joint Surg (1999); 81B(5): 893-894.

HC Brownlow, A Reed, AHRW Simpson.  The anatomical effects of periosteal stripping. The Journal of Orthopaedic Research (1999)

HC Brownlow & AHRW Simpson.  The metabolic activity of a new atrophic non-union model.  The Journal of Orthopaedic Research (1999)

AHRW Simpson, AS Cole, J Kenwright.  Lengthening over a nail for femoral and tibial shortening. J Bone & Joint Surg. (1999); 81-B:

DE Porter, ME Emerton, F Villanueva-Lopez, AHRW Simpson.  A clinical and radiographic analysis of

Osteochondromas and growth disturbance in Hereditary Multiple Exostoses.Journal of Paediatric Orthopaedics 1999.

C Dobson-Stone, L Lonie, R Cox, C Wise, D Porter, H Simpson, A Monaco.  Comparison of fluorescent

single-strand and denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography for detection of EXT1 and EXT2 mutations in hereditary multiple exostoses.   European Journal of Human Genetics 1999.

Levy MM, Joyner CJ, Virdi AS, Reed A, Triffitt JT, Simpson AH, Kenwright J, Stein H, Francis MJ

Osteoprogenitor cells of mature human skeletal muscle tissue:an in vitro study.  Bone 2001 Oct;29(4):317-22

Goldspink G, Williams P, Simpson H Gene expression in response to muscle stretch. Clin Orthop. 2002 Oct;(403 Suppl):S146-52

Li G, Bouxsein ML, Luppen C, Li XJ, Wood M, Seeherman HJ, Wozney JM, Simpson H

Bone consolidation is enhance by rhBMP-2 in distraction osteogenesis.  J Orthop Res. 2002 Jul;20(4):779-88

Li G, Dickson GR, Marsh DR, Simpson H. Rapid new bone tissue remodeling during distraction osteogenesis is associated with apoptosis  J Orthop Res. 2003 Jan;21(1):28-35


Multiple further peer reviewed presentations and published abstracts.


G Goldspink, G Gerlach, D Wells,J Martindale, P Williams, AHRW Simpson, P Kyberd & J Kenwright.  Gene expression switching in adaptation for increased power output and fatigue resistance in fish and mammalian skeletal muscle.  In Basic and Applied Myology: Perspectives for the 90’s.  Eds U Carraro, S Salmons (1991) section III:65-72

J Kenwright and AHRW Simpson.  Investigation of sensitivity of the healing musculoskeletal system to small changes in its mechanical environment.  Extended abstract accepted for publication in Bio-analoging Skeletal Implants (BIOSIS) 1991 ISBN 3-88260-041-1

AHRW Simpson, P Kyberd, PE Williams, J Kenwright, G Goldspink.  The influence of axial distraction upon muscles.  In: Micro-movement in Orthopaedics., AR Turner-Smith (Ed), Clarendon Press, Oxford (1993) ISBN 0 19 262306 0

AHRW Simpson, NJ Derbyshire, J Kenwright.  A role for ultrasound in limb lengthening.  Ch 19 in Measurement Techniques section of Micro-movement in Orthopaedics., AR Turner-Smith (Ed), Clarendon Press, Oxford (1993) ISBN 0 19 262306 0

AHRW Simpson, PE Williams, P Kyberd, G Goldspink, J Kenwright.  The response of the muscle to limb lengthening.  Ch 24 in Material Properties section of Micro-movement in Orthopaedics., AR Turner-Smith (Ed), Clarendon Press, Oxford (1993) ISBN 0 19 262306 0

AHRW Simpson, J Kenwright.  The response of peripheral nervous tissue to leg lengthening.  Ch 25 in Material Properties section of Micro-movement in Orthopaedics., AR Turner-Smith (Ed), Clarendon Press, Oxford (1993) ISBN 0 19 262306 0

AHRW Simpson.  The management of ankle fractures.  In Gregg, Stephens and Worlock, Blackwells, Oxford

AHRW Simpson.  Outcome measures for ankle injuries.  In Outcome Measures in Trauma Eds Fairbank, Pynsent and Carr

TN Gardner, J Kenwright, M Evans, H Simpson.  Callus Stimulation through the Dynamic Mechanical Environment imposed by Unilateral External Fixation.  Dr Gahr Leipzig (Ed), (in press).

AHRW Simpson, J Kenwright.  Bone & Joint Infections.  Medicine 1996; 24:8: 57-9.

AHRW Simpson, J Kenwright.  Response of the soft tissues to distraction.  SIROT 1997 (Ed.) H Stein Freund Publishing.

AHRW Simpson, J Kenwright. The biology of soft tissue distraction.  Springer 1998 (Ed) A Goldberg.


Adam’s Outline of Fractures, Editors Hamblen & Simpson