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Prof Alister Hart
Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital
Stanmore, London
  • Chair of Academic Clinical Orthopaedics
  • Department of Ortho and MSK Science
  • Div of Surgery & Interventional Sci
  • Faculty of Medical Sciences

Professor Alister Hart holds the Action Medical Research Chair of Academic Clinical Orthopaedics at University College London (UCL) and is an honorary consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) NHS Trust. 

He focusses on hip and knee problems, with an interest in precision placement of implants and understanding why they sometimes function poorly. He was nicknamed the “Hospital Hip Detective” by the BBC. He has done more than 3000 surgical operations including >500 revision hip replacements.

His Impact Case study for the 2014 UCL REF on implant science included: changes to international health policy; development of clinical guidance in the UK and abroad; changes to clinical practice and subsequent cost savings; and accountability within industry.

He has been Principal Investigator on 26 grant awards since 2006 with total funding of over £7 million from research councils, charities and industry. He has published more than 150 papers (first or last author on >100) with 200 co-authors, including in the journal Nature, >4000 citations and an h index of 34. 

He has reviewed for 10 journals. He has given invited lectures in the USA, Canada, Japan, Finland, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, and Poland on hip and knee surgery. His medicolegal work has been successfully used by both claimants and defendants.

Research Summary

Professor Alister Hart's research interests focus on how to achieve lifelong function for the 3 million patients that undergo hip and knee replacements worldwide every year. He applies his research in a multi-disciplinary team meeting at the RNOH to provide opinion to other surgeons on who, when and how to monitor patients with hip implants. His successful Impact Case study for the 2014 UCL REF return had the following impact for patients with hip replacements:

Changes to international health policy on which implants to use

Development of new clinical guidance on how to implant them

Pioneering use of blood metal ions and MRI of implants

Evidence for the US FDA and UK MHRA on how to monitor them

Accountability within industry

His research has been funded by over £7 million from Innovate UK, the British Orthopaedic Association, the Engineering and physical sciences research council (EPSRC), many medical charities and nine orthopaedic manufacturers. In collaboration with John Skinner he brought together an industry consortium of all 9 major orthopaedic implant manufacturers (Depuy, Zimmer, Smith & Nephew, Biomet, JRI, Finsbury, Corin, Mathys and Stryker) so that it was free from industry bias. This enabled the set up of a centre to examine hip replacement failures (London Implant Retrieval Centre) with a contract allowing 100% freedom for publication of data.

He has published more than 150 papers (first or last author on >100) with 200 co-authors, including in the journal Nature, >4000 citations and an h index of 34. 

Teaching Summary

Professor Alister Hart supervises a group of MD and PhD students, some clinical and some non-clinical. He runs international meetings on controversial topics in hip and knee surgery. 

He has supervised 25 BSc student projects since 2005 and over 90% of these students have published at least 1 journal paper from their project.

He has developed an international course for simulating complex hip surgery.

He is an examiner for medical finals, MD degrees, and PhD degrees. He is the external examiner for the Cardiff MSc course in orthopaedic engineering. 

13-JUN-2012 Chair of orthopaedic surgery Division of Surgery Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2010 MD Doctor of Medicine – Clinical Medicine University of Cambridge
1994 MB.ChB Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery – Clinical Medicine University of Cambridge
1992 BA Hons Bachelor of Arts (Honours) – Medical Sciences University of Cambridge
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