Professor Stuart Ralston was warmly welcomed as the incoming Chairman of the Paget's Association by Patron, Sir Henry Paget. Professor Ralston succeeds Professor Roger Francis who has served a five-year term as Chair. Sir Henry Paget took the opportunity at the Paget's Information day in Newcastle, to thank Professor Roger Francis, for his excellent service.
Stuart Ralston graduated in Medicine, from Glasgow University, in 1978 and undertook higher medical training in General Internal Medicine and Rheumatology, in Glasgow, where he developed a clinical and research interest in bone disease. He was appointed Senior Lecturer in Medicine at the University of Aberdeen in 1991 and subsequently held the chair of Medicine and Bone Metabolism in Aberdeen, between 1996 and 2005 when he moved to take up the Arthritis Research UK Chair of Rheumatology at the University of Edinburgh. Professor Ralston was founding director of Edinburgh Clinical Trials Unit between 2009 and 2016 and is currently director of Edinburgh University's online distance learning MSc in clinical trials. He holds an honorary consultant rheumatologist position with NHS Lothian where he is the clinical lead for the osteoporosis service and clinical director of the rheumatology service. Professor Ralston has researched widely on the molecular and genetic basis of bone and joint diseases but has a special interest in Paget’s Disease of Bone. He is joint editor-in-chief of Calcified Tissue International and senior editor of Davidson's Principles and Practice of Medicine. He currently chairs the Commission for Human Medicines for the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority of the UK.
New Directions in Research
Professor Ralston attended our Paget's Information meeting in Newcastle, last September, to discuss exciting research into various areas of Paget's Disease of Bone.
Currently, 13 genes are known to predispose to Paget’s disease of Bone. Research being carried out in Edinburgh is looking at other genes that may be involved.
Professor Ralston explained the need to learn more about mechanisms of pain and so a study, also funded by the Association, is looking at the causes of pain in Paget’s disease and evaluating how well pain responds to treatment. The long term aim is to try and improve management of pain in Paget’s disease.
In addition, Edinburgh University has received significant new funding from the European Union to carry out research which will advance knowledge of Paget’s disease in such a way that could improve patient outcomes (Paget-Advance).
Professor Ralston concluded by commenting that research should focus on earlier diagnosis and enhanced surveillance in people with a family history of Paget’s disease and that it is necessary to evaluate the risks and benefits of treatment in those with early disease.
Professor Ralston's talk as well as those from other expert speakers at our Paget’s Information Day, in Newcastle, are now available on a set of 3 DVDs. Shop now.