Professor Cobb studied medicine at Magdalen College Oxford, graduating in 1982. He trained in Oxford, London and Brighton. He wrote his master’s thesis on ‘Prognostic factors in operable osteosarcoma’. In 1991 he was appointed consultant orthopaedic surgeon at The Middlesex. He was awarded a Hunterian Professorship in 1992. After 15 years as a consultant at UCLH and Hon Sen Lect at UCL, he joined Imperial as chair of orthopaedics in 2005. In 1992 the special trustees of The Middlesex, awared his first grant, which led to the development, with Brian Davies, of Acrobot, the worlds first haptic based robotic assistant, which is now being sold in the USA by Stanmore Implants.
Close links exist between the MSk Lab on the Charing Cross Campus, and the Engineers in South Kensington, which resulted in the OsteoArthritis Centre, funded by an £11m grant from the Wellcome Trust and EPSRC. The patient base at Charing Cross make an ideal conduit for combined projects with investigators across college, including Jonathan Jeffers, Andrew Amis and Ferdinando Rodriguez in Mechanical Engineering, Anthony Bull in Biomedical Engineering, Molly Stevens in Material Science, Philippa Cann in Tribology, and Andrew Phillips in Civil Engineering. These collaborations have lead to the current MSk Lab team. Together with Alison McGregor, he leads a group of more than 30 surgeons, physios, scientists and engineers who work on the same floor as the orthopaedic inpatient ward, translating their benchtop findings straight to the bedside and operating theatre of patients with musculoskeletal problems.
Recently these projects merged in the salvage of injured soldiers. In a world first, the combination of 3D planning, 3D printing and robotics enabled precise minimally invasive joint salvage surgery This world is in collaboration with the Blast Centre in Biomedical Engineering.
The MSk Lab is funded in part by research councils such as the EPSRC, and substantial charitable trusts such as the Wellcome Trust, ORUK, the Michael Uren Foundation, but also by donations from patients who also come to the lab to allow us to measure their gait as part of a large study of gait and its relationship to joint health and disease.
The major research themes in his group are these:
Novel device design, such as the H1 - a first in human trial of an anthropomorphic all ceramic hip resurfacing
3D planning and 3D printing: the development of novel procedures and instruments to enable minimally invasive joint preservation surgery
Enhanced Reality and surgical skills: using head mounted technology to enhance skills of surgeons in training and in the operating theatre
Outcome studies: using advanced metrics such as gait analysis and JointPro, a patient centred web based tool
Bone health and disease: the impact of exercise, disability and medication on bone health and material properties
Professor Cobb is a civilian advisor in orthopaedics to the Royal Air Force. He is on the staff of King Edward VII hospital for Officers, and is Orthopaedic Surgeon to Her Majesty the Queen.
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et al., Long-term effects of bisphosphonate therapy: perforations, microcracks and mechanical properties, Scientific Reports, ISSN:2045-2322
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et al., THE IMPACT OF STEM LENGTH ON FUNCTION FOLLOWING HIP ARTHROPLASTY: ARE LONG STEMS STILL REQUIRED?, International Society for Technology in Arthroplasty