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Andrew Carr

ChM DSc FRCS FMedSci


Head of Department

  • Nuffield Professor of Orthopaedics
  • Director of the Musculoskeletal BRC Theme
  • Director of the Botnar Research Centre

Andy Carr is the Nuffield Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Oxford. He is an inter-disciplinary researcher distinguished for evaluating and developing surgical implants and technologies and for his leadership in surgical and musculoskeletal research.

He was born in Yorkshire and educated at Bradford Grammar School, where he was head of school, and the University of Bristol. He trained as a surgeon in Sheffield, Oxford, Seattle and Melbourne and undertook research fellowships at the Weatherall Institute of molecular medicine in Oxford and the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. While training with John Goodfellow in Oxford his research into surgical implants included defining the use of the Oxford Knee as a partial knee replacement. The Oxford Knee has been successfully implanted in over 1 million patients worldwide. He established the shoulder surgery unit in Oxford and is a past President of the British Shoulder and Elbow Society.

He has published over 400 peer reviewed articles in journals including the Lancet, Nature Biotechnology, Science Translational Medicine, Science Robotics, Cell Stem Cell and the BMJ and is one of the most highly cited orthopaedic academics globally with an h-index of 73. He is head of the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS) which has grown under his leadership from 20 staff in 2001 to over 450 staff and 120 postgraduate research students in 2017. He founded the Botnar Research Centre, Oxford University's Institute of Musculoskeletal Sciences, in 2002 and led the relocation of the Kennedy Institute for Rheumatology to Oxford and NDORMS in 2011 (a total investment of over £80M). NDORMS achieved an excellent outcome in the REF 2014 exercise and was specifically commended in the narrative report to the University from the assessment panel.

He was a non-executive director of the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre (NOC) NHS Trust from 2001-2011 during which time the hospital was completely rebuilt as part of a private finance initiative. He then led the NOC as divisional director of clinical services from 2011-2014 during its merger to form Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust; this remains the largest NHS hospital merger in the UK. From 2008 to 2017 he was director of the NIHR Oxford Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research and co-founded the Royal College of Surgeons Trial Unit in Oxford, which has pioneered the use of large scale surgical randomised controlled trials. His research has included defining the indications for, and ethics of placebo, or sham surgery, controls in surgical trials. He has also led the involvement of patients in assessing the outcome of orthopaedic surgery with the development of the Oxford Scores. Used to predict and detect early failure of poorly performing surgical interventions they have been translated into 20 languages and adopted by health providers and regulators worldwide, leading to policy and treatment guideline changes and significant improvements in the quality of life of patients. Professor Carr’s research into mechanisms of soft tissue inflammation, repair and fibrosis has led to the invention of novel electrospun nanofibre tissue engineering implants which aim to enhance endogenous tissue repair using biophysical cues. These implants are now entering first in man clinical trials funded by the Wellcome Trust and the National Institute for Health Research. 

His awards include the Robert Jones Gold Medal of the British Orthopaedic Association, a Hunterian Professorship of the Royal College of Surgeons of England and the 2016 Steindler Award from the Orthopaedic Research Society in the USA in recognition of outstanding global contribution to musculoskeletal research. He has served as a visiting professor in over 30 institutions and delivered more than 50 eponymous lectures worldwide.  He was a trustee and deputy chairman of trustees of the charity Arthritis Research UK from 2003-2012. In 2017 he was recognised as a surgical role model by the BMJ.  He is an NIHR Senior Investigator and was elected a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2009.