Alister Hart was appointed as clinical senior lecturer and consultant orthopaedic surgeon in 2006. He followed the training path: Cambridge University; basic surgical training at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals; orthopaedic surgical training at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore. He has performed over 3000 hip and knee operations (including 800 replacements). He has published 38 full journal publications (including one in Nature), a best selling surgical teaching book and has reviewed for 6 journals including Science, BMJ, and PNAS and 4 grant bodies (BOA, Furlong Charitable Foundation, ARUK and EPSRC). He has raised £4 million in grants.
The focus of his research is understanding how to increase the lifespan of orthopaedic implants. His patient referrals from other consultant orthopaedic surgeons contribute to his research which in turn contribute to his clinical work: a virtuous cycle of translational research. His MD was on “the effects of wear debris from metal-on-metal hip replacements”. He runs clinical trials that use imaging at all line scales from macro (MRI and CT) to nano (synchrotron, the Diamond Light Source) of patients and patient samples to determine the implant, surgical positioning and patient factors that determine the lifespan of an orthopaedic implant. He exhibited some of this at the 350th anniversary Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, June 2010.
He is funded from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and the British Orthopaedic Association (BOA). The BOA grant, in collaboration with John Skinner (RNOH), is unique in bringing 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. A follow-on from this was a 5 year contract to be an independent, worldwide centre for metal-on-metal hip failures in collaboration with John Skinner and Gordon Blunn (UCL)
He teaches knee and hip replacement techniques, and orthopaedic basic sciences, to surgeons of all grades as a faculty member on >6 international courses per year. He has given more than 10 invited lectures at international meetings, some with large numbers of medical delegates attending: 60,000 at the Radiological Society of North America; 30,000 at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; and 10,000 at the German Orthopaedic Meeting.