Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Surgery & Cancer

Senior Lecturer







204Building E - Sir Michael UrenWhite City Campus






Richie’s research is focussed on discovering why some people age healthily whilst others fracture, then using the knowledge to help us to find more effective tools for predicting and preventing fractures.

Working in collaboration with clinicians, engineers and materials scientists Richie’s current projects are focussed on studying what makes bone strong, how osteoporosis makes bones fragile and how treatments restore strength.

By imaging bone with a particle accelerator at the Diamond Light Source (Didcot, UK)  Richie is discovering that the basic building blocks of bone (i.e. collagen and mineral) determine the strength and fundamental fracture mechanisms of bone.

This new knowledge will change the way our bone research community studies bone as a nano-composite where strength is derived from the nano-scale up. The new paradigm will help us to prevent fractures through better diagnostics, prediction of fracture risk and identifying new treatment targets.


Richie is the Deputy Domain Leader for Research Skills with Dr Jenni Quint and Deputy Director of the BSc in Surgical Technology and Innovation with Mr Jamie Murphy.

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.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Abel RL, Prime M, Jin A, et al., 2013, 3D Imaging Bone Quality: Bench to Bedside, Hard Tissue, Vol:2, ISSN:2050-2303

Abel RL, Shah SIA, Langley RE, et al., 2013, Fracture after androgen deprivation therapy among men with a high baseline risk of skeletal complications, Bjui, Vol:112, Pages:E431-E433

Abel RL, Laurini C, Richter M, 2012, A biologist's guide to ‘virtual’ micro-CT preparation, Palaeontologia Electronica, Vol:15, Pages:1-16

Reissis D, Abel RL, 2012, Development of fetal trabecular micro-architecture in the humerus and femur, Journal of Anatomy, Vol:220, Pages:496-503

Abel R, Macho GA, 2011, Ontogenetic changes in the internal and external morphology of the ilium in modern humans., Journal of Anatomy, Vol:218, ISSN:1469-7580, Pages:324-335

Chahal HS, Karen S, Martina U, et al., 2011, AIP Mutation in Pituitary Adenomas in the 18th Century and Today, The New England Journal of Medicine, Vol:364, Pages:33-40

Macho GA, Spears IR, Leakey MG, et al., 2011, An Exploratory Study on the Combined Effects of External and Internal Morphology on Load Dissipation in Primate Capitates: Its Potential for an Understanding of the Positional and Locomotor Repertoire of Early Hominins, Folia Primatologica, Vol:81, ISSN:0015-5713, Pages:292-304

Parfitt SA, Ashton NM, Lewis SG, et al., 2010, Early Pleistocene human occupation at the edge of the boreal zone in northwest Europe, Nature, Vol:466, Pages:229-233

McColl DJ, Abel RL, Spears IR, et al., 2006, Automated method to measure trabecular thickness from microcomputed tomographic scans and its application, The Anatomical Record Part A: Discoveries in Molecular, Cellular, and Evolutionary Biology, Vol:288A, ISSN:1552-4892, Pages:982-988

Macho GA, Abel RL, Schutkowski H, 2005, Age changes in bone microstructure: do they occur uniformly?, International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, Vol:15, ISSN:1099-1212, Pages:421-430

More Publications