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Jeffrey Lima Hayes O’Riordan

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 28 December 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5872
  1. Matt Limb
  1. London
  1. limb{at}

Doctor and researcher whose bone biology research prompted the nickname “Professor PTH”

Physician scientist Jeffrey O’Riordan was a pioneer of the study of hormonal control of calcium and bone biology. He became influential as an investigator, doctor, and teacher. His death, say colleagues, marks the “end of an era” for the UK bone research community and the many researchers who trained with him during a 30 year career at the Middlesex Hospital in London.

O’Riordan’s work spanned the biology of parathyroid hormone (PTH), calcitonin and vitamin D metabolism, and abnormalities of these in bone diseases and genetic abnormalities.

He established a “world class” research programme in PTH, vitamin D, and mineral metabolism, according to the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, of which he was a long time member. The society said, “His contributions to human disease were especially notable. He was an innovator in clinical assay development, which enabled definitive studies of the metabolic disturbances in patients with parathyroid disease and dysregulated vitamin D metabolism. His later work was instrumental in identifying PHEX gene mutations in x linked hypophosphatemic rickets.”

Many of those trained by O’Riordan, or “Professor PTH” as he was often known, went on to become international leaders in bone and mineral research themselves.

Iconic ward rounds

Rajesh Thakker, …

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