Edinburgh Research Explorer

Stuart Ralston

Arthritis Research Council Chair of Rheumatology

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Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

Genetics of bone and joint disease

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Medicine, University of Glasgow
Pathogenesis and management of cancer-associated hypercalcaemia
Bachelor of Medicine, University of Glasgow

Professional Qualifications

Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, FRSE
Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, FM
Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh, FRCP (Edin)
Member of the Royal College of Physicians, MRCP

Area of Expertise

Research expertiseOsteoporosis, metabolic bone disease, Paget's disease of Bone, general rheumatology, genetics


I graduated in Medicine from Glasgow University in 1978 and underwent higher medical training in General Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.  I previously held the chair of Medicine and Bone Metabolism at the University of Aberdeen and moved to Edinburgh University in 2005 where I now hold the Arthritis Research UK Chair of Rheumatology. I am academic director of Edinburgh Clinical Trials Unit and director of Edinburgh University's online distance learning Msc in clinical trials.  I hold an honorary consultant rheumatologist position with NHS Lothian and am clinical lead for the osteoporosis service and clinical director of the rheumatology service.  I have researched widely on the molecular and genetic basis of osteoporosis and other bone and joint diseases. I have a special interest in the pathogenesis and management of Paget’s disease of bone.  I am joint editor-in-chief of the scientific journal Calcified Tissue International and an editor of Davidson's Texbook of Medicine.  I currently chair the Commission for Human Medicines for the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority of the UK

My research in a nutshell

My research focuses on the genetic determinants of bone and joint disease, as a means of gaining greater understanding of the pathophysiology of conditions such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and Paget's disease. The ultimate aim is to translate the knowledge gained to improve clinical outcome for patients.


I co-ordinate the rheumatology component of the muscoloskeletal module for year three medical undergraduates at the University of Edinburgh and I am programme director for the online distance learning MSc in Clinical Trials.   

Clinical Expertise and Specialisation

I undertake clinics in general rheumatology  and have a special interest in osteoporosis and metabolic bone diseases.

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