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Chris Lavy


Professor of Orthopaedic and Tropical Surgery and Consultant Orthopaedic and Spine Surgeon

  • Senior Research Fellow, Green Templeton College

Chris Lavy qualified at St Bartholomew’s Medical College in 1982 after a BSc in Anthropology at University College London. He trained in orthopaedic surgery on the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital rotation and in 1992 became a Consultant in orthopaedic and hand surgery at The Middlesex Hospital and University College Hospital in London. In 1996 he left to work with the Christian medical charity CBM International and was appointed to an Honorary Professorship at the University of Malawi College of Medicine.

In 2006 he returned to the UK, where he is Professor of Orthopaedic and Tropical Surgery and Consultant Orthopaedic and Spine Surgeon at the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS) and a Fellow of Green Templeton College at the University of Oxford. His clinical interests include surgery of the spine, hip and knee, and his research interests focus on surgery in Africa and the Tropics. He is an elected Council member and trustee of The Royal College of Surgeons of England, and established the RCS Global Surgical Frontiers conference. He is an honorary fellow of the British Orthopaedic Association and of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. He is a trustee of CURE International UK, which supports children’s reconstructive surgery in resource-poor countries. He has held an honorary chair at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

During Professor Lavy’s time in Malawi, he helped to set up two orthopaedic teaching hospital and research centres, The Beit CURE International Hospital (2002) in Blantyre and Beit CURE Zambia Hospital (2005) in Lusaka. He helped set up national orthopaedic surgical and clinical officer training programmes in Malawi, and an international clubfoot treatment programme which now spans over 15 countries. He co-founded the regional College of Surgeons of East Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) in 1999, set up the college’s orthopaedic fellowship examination and served for many years on the council. Professor Lavy was awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours List 2007 for services to orthopaedics.

Since moving to Oxford, he has helped set up the Oxford MSc in Musculoskeletal Sciences, and the international Global Clubfoot Initiative, which works to increase collaboration between organisations delivering clubfoot treatment . He teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students at Oxford, and has taught on courses such as the popular BMJ Masterclasses series and the LSHTM Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. He has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications and books, and contributed to Lord Crisp’s report in 2007 on Global Health Partnerships and reports by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health.

He has recently been a Commissioner for The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery, and Co-Director with Professor Hemant Pandit of COSECSA Oxford Orthopaedic Link (COOL), a multi-country programme in trauma and orthopaedics training, research and capacity building in East, Central and Southern Africa. Prof Lavy has led the Africa Clubfoot Training (ACT) project which focuses on strengthening and expanding clubfoot training in sub-Saharan Africa. (Both the COOL programme and ACT project have been funded through the Health Partnership Scheme, which is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and managed by the Tropical Health Education Trust (THET).)

Recently, he was Principal Investigator for SURG-Africa (an EU-funded collaboration working towards scaling safe surgery for district and rural populations in Africa) and he led the set up of CURE Children’s Hospital of Zimbabwe, a new orthopaedic teaching hospital in Bulawayo.  He co-leads the multi-disciplinary Oxford University Global Surgery Group and is a director on the accredited Oxford Global Surgery Course.  He is a member of the World Health Organization Technical Advisory Group on Integrated Clinical Care.