Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Surgery & Cancer

Chair in Orthopaedic Surgery



+44 (0)20 7594 5534j.cobb Website




Miss Colinette Hazel +44 (0)20 7594 2725




c/oSir Michael Uren HubWhite City Campus






NHS referrals are now electronic only - by your GP on ERS 

For NHS enquiries: contact Veronica - 020 3311 7773

For private patient enquiries: contact Sue - 020 3423 7198


Professor Cobb was an open scholar at Magdalen College Oxford, graduating in medicine in 1982. He trained in Oxford, London and Brighton.  He completed his master’s thesis in 1991 and was then appointed consultant orthopaedic surgeon at The Middlesex Hospital. 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. His clinical work is divided between Charing Cross Hospital and the Cleveland Clinic.

In 1992 the special trustees of The Middlesex, awarded his first grant, which led to the development, with Brian Davies, of Acrobot, the worlds first haptic based robotic assistant. This was bought by Stanmore Implants, who then sold it to Mako Surgical. The Mako robot is now sold by Stryker around the world.

He runs the MSk Lab in the Sir Michael Uren Biomedical Engineering (BME) Hub on the White City Campus, an entire building devoted to biomedical engineering, housing engineers, scientists and clinicians working on many aspects, from regenerative medicine to neurotechnology and dementia research. Close links remain with the Engineers and scientists who remain in South Kensington where some equipment is better housed. Those links resulted in the OsteoArthritis Centre, funded by an £11m grant from the Wellcome Trust and EPSRC. The patients who take part in trials in the MSk lab come from the NHS trust, and from the Cleveland Clinic among other sites. This stream of patients will make an ideal conduit for combined projects with investigators across college, including Jonathan JeffersAndrew AmisRichard Van Arkel and Ferdinando Rodriguez in Mechanical Engineering, Anthony Bull in Biomedical Engineering, Molly Stevens and Julian Jones in Material Science, Philippa Cann in Tribology, and Andrew Phillips in Civil Engineering. These collaborations have led to the current MSk Lab team, which comprises a group of more than 30 surgeons, physios, scientists and engineers translating their benchtop findings straight to the patients with musculoskeletal problems in the ambulatory surgery centre on the floor below. 

Examples of this translational approach include the combination of Gait Analysis, 3D planning, 3D printing and robotics which enabled precise minimally invasive joint salvage surgery. This world leading approach 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 Sir Michael Uren Foundation, and the Sackler Foundation, and 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 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

Compartmental Knee Surgery: the detailed analysis of knee pathology allows us to avoid cutting out the whole knee in most cases

Enhanced Reality and surgical skills: using head mounted technology to enhance skills of surgeons in training and in the operating theatre

Gait analysis and other outcome metrics such as JointPro, a patient centred web based tool

Bone health and disease: the impact of exercise, disability and medication on bone health and material properties

The MSk lab is always accepting volunteers and new members for our Bone Patient Involvement Group to be informed of upcoming research, events and trials.

Professor Cobb is Orthopaedic Surgeon to His Majesty the King, who awarded him CVO for the care of his parents.




Karunaseelan K, Nasser R, Cobb J, et al., 2024, Optimal hip capsular release for joint exposure in hip resurfacing via the direct anterior approach: a biomechanical study, The Bone & Joint Journal, Vol:106, ISSN:2049-4408

Reynolds A, Boughton O, Doyle R, et al., 2024, Dynamics of manual impaction instruments during THA, Bone & Joint Research, ISSN:2046-3758

De Mori A, Heyraud A, Tallia F, et al., 2024, Ovine Mesenchymal Stem Cell Chondrogenesis on a Novel 3D-Printed Hybrid Scaffold In Vitro., Bioengineering (basel), Vol:11, ISSN:2306-5354

Vella-Baldacchino M, Webb J, Selvarajah B, et al., 2023, Should we recommend patellofemoral arthroplasties to patients?, Bone Jt Open, Vol:4, Pages:948-956

Edwards TC, Soussi D, Gupta S, et al., 2023, Collaborative team training in virtual reality is superior to individual learning for performing complex open surgery: a randomised controlled trial, Annals of Surgery, Vol:278, ISSN:0003-4932, Pages:850-857

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