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Geoff Richards  FLSW, FBSE, FIOR

Professor Geoff Richards


Honorary Visiting Professor

School of Biosciences

Sir Martin Evans Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX


Prof. Richards is the Director of the AO Research Institute (ARI) in Davos, Switzerland, the largest institute of its kind in the world. Since its foundation, ARI has made scientific discoveries that have significantly changed the ways bone fractures are managed. Under his leadership, this institute has grown to over 100 scientists from around the world, with multidisciplinary expertise in musculoskeletal medicine, including bioengineering, regenerative medicine, and biomaterials. ARI serves as a critically important training site for medical students becoming life-long scientists and surgical trainees preparing for a career as surgeon-scientists. Some field-altering discoveries and innovations in the past 10 years include clinically necessary fracture-healing monitoring sensors, bioactive gels, and locally-impregnated biomaterials to treat musculoskeletal infections. Prof. Richards has revolutionized many of the institution's processes, ranging from patent generation to funding and educational opportunities to the creation of a novel open-access journal. He has created an environment that fosters and financially enables creative work. Additionally, the ARI supports the scientific education of nearly 60,000 surgeons globally through over 800 annual courses.

Innovation in Translation

Prof Richard's research work on metal implant interfaces in the trauma area of orthopaedics translated to major improvements in the design and manufacture of fracture fixation products, not only with Synthes (now DPS from Johnson & Johnson) but also seen in many companies since. The control of tissue interactions through developed surface micro-topographies for prevention of tendon, muscle or nerve adhesion to implant surfaces in trauma has led to vastly improved clinical outcomes in many subspecialty areas.

Innovation in Publishing

In 1999 then Dr Richards co-founded eCM journal (with Iolo ap Gwynn / Godfried Roomans), the first online only open access journal in the fields of Biomaterials, Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine and Orthopaedics, a pioneer in open access publishing. This concept disrupted the publishing field in science and was part of the push on major publishers to be available with early views online, which is now standard practice. This initiated the first version of the transparent review process in 1999 through eCM, where reviewers are named on accepted manuscripts as part of the discussion with reviewers section. This also initiated a transparent route to becoming a member of the eCM International Review Panel. The journal is a leader in the orthopaedics field. Since 1999 where Richards has been co-webmaster, co-web editor and Editor-in-Chief. (eCM ISSN:1473-2262; NLM:100973416 ; DOI:10.22203/eCM).

Innovation in Societies

In 2016 Prof Richards founded the International College of Fellows for the International Combined Orthopaedic Research Societies (ICORS), where he is a member of the ICORS Board. He developed the charter and the rules for the ICORS constituent members for nomination of fellows to the College. ICORS is an alliance of national societies from around the world which aims to promote basic, translational, and musculoskeletal research worldwide. Nominees to become Fellows are selected by individual constituent societies and nominated to the ICORS board. The ICORS Board then elect Fellows to be recognized with the honorary status of Fellow of International Orthopaedic Research (FIOR) of the ICORS International College of Fellows in the ICORS world meeting every three years. He also created the list of roles and responsibilities for the College. Nominees selected should display a status of excellent professional standing and high achievements in the field of orthopaedic research. Nominees are recognized for their accomplishments and as role models among their peers. FIOR honorees shall foster professional interactions among each other and ICORS members, with research and medical practitioners, regulatory and legislative offices, and will promote public awareness of the profession of orthopaedic research and promote and encourage professional and continuing education in orthopaedic research. The creation of this College for a true international alliance of societies was a task which, in addition to high global scientific standing and respect, required cultural diplomatic skills that he has built up with within numerous international networks over the years.

Innovation: AO Research Institute Davos (ARI)

  • Supervised 15 PhD's, 15 Masters, 4 medical / vet thesis's and 2 diploma thesis's. As Director of AO Research Institute Davos (ARI), Responsible for annual budget of 13.6 million CHF (2017), 20-25% of which is extramurally acquired (2017 ARI brought in 3 million CHF extramural funding). FTE 55 permanent and around 70 non-permanent. Created ARI medical research fellowships which are highly competitive and attracts resident and senior surgeons from around the world to spend 6-12 months at the Institute involved in preclinical research. Both scientists and medical research fellows also apply for external funding mechanisms to join us (from scholarships etc.) from several months to a year and we have had a good number join ARI in recent years.
  • Brought the ARI into international standard ISO 9001:2008 and institute's Biomedical Services Program additionally certified as a medical device manufacturer according to EN ISO 13485:2012. ARI is one of the very few academic research organizations to have achieved this certification. In 2017 an audit conducted by the Swiss Association for Quality and Management Systems (SQS) has led to the successful certification according to the revised standards ISO 9001:2015 (Focus Areas Biomechanical Services and Concept Development of the Biomedical Development Program are additionally certified to develop and test medical device according to the completely revised EN ISO 13485:2016).
  • Brought the ARI's Preclinical Facility to be accredited by AAALAC International in early 2013. The Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC), is a private, non-profit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through voluntary accreditation and assessment programs. ARI is one of only 2 accredited institutions in Switzerland, and the only accredited academic Research Institute in Switzerland.
  • Achieved ARI's GLP (Good Laboratory Practice) level in February 2016, where ARI is listed as a GLP compliant test facility. Recertification was granted for the next 3 years in 2017 under biocompability and efficacy with medical devices and pharmaceuticals.


Author on over 230 peer reviewed papers, and more than 400 abstracts of presentations and posters. 10 book chapters, 2 granted patents and 2 applications.


Pubmed articles.



93-97 PhD. The University of Wales, Aberystwyth (UWA). Cell Adhesion to implant surfaces (supervisor: Iolo ap Gwynn).

90-91 M.Sc. Biological Electron Microscopy, UWA (supervisor: Iolo ap Gwynn).

10/87-06/90 B.Sc. Cell & Immunobiology UWA.

Honours and awards

2020 Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales (FLSW).

2019 Honorary Fellow Aberystwyth University (Honorary Fellow of Aberystwyth University), Wales (UK). General report including new MOU and speech to Graduates.

2018>2023 Member of High-end Foreign Experts Program, Sun Yat-sen University, State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, China.

2016 Distinguished Professor, The First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou (CN) 杰夫·查德.

2016 Elected 'Fellow of International Orthopaedic Research (FIOR)' in the inaugural ICORS College of Fellows class.

2016 Doctor Honoris Causa, Technical University of Varna (BG).

2015 Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg (DE).

2012 Elected Fellow of Biomaterials Science and Engineering (FBSE).

2010 Life Honorary Member Swiss Society for Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine (SSB&RM).

2007 Honorary Professor, School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Wales (UK).

2004 Jean Leray Award (European Society for Biomaterials) - distinctive achievement and insight in biomaterials research.

Academic positions

Current Scientific & Board Appointments

2019 President TERMIS Global (world) (Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society).

2019 Past Chair of the International College of Fellows for Orthopaedic Research.

2015 Vice President Science City Davos & (since 2013) Executive Committee of Science City Davos.

2013 Member of the International Combined Orthopaedic Research Societies (ICORS) Steering Committee.

2013 Associate Editor of the Journal of Orthopaedic Translation.

2009 Director of the Board of the Foundation of the AO Research Institute Davos.

2000 Editor-in-Chief, webmaster, webeditor eCM journal (


2017 Founder of the International College of Fellows for Orthopaedic Research at the International Combined Orthopaedic Research Societies.

1999 Founder, eCM journal (with Iolo ap Gwynn / the late Prof Godfried Roomans), the first true open access journal.

Past Scientific & Board Appointments

2017, 2018, 2019. Chair of the International College of Fellows for Orthopaedic Research.

2018 Global Member-At-Large TERMIS Governing Board (Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society).

2013>Dec 2016 Member of Executive Committee of Academia Raetica.

2011>Sept 2016 Executive Committee member EORS (European Orthopaedic Research Society) member since 2008 (organised EORS2010).

2014/2015 President of the Lions Club Davos-Klosters.

2013-2015 Member TERMIS-EU Continental Council & Europe Member-At-Large for TERMIS Global Governing Board (Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society).

2011>2013 Chair of the Infection Committee, Orthopaedic Research Society.

2009 > 2013 Board of directors AO Global Clinical Trials Management.

2009 >2013 Member of AO Foundation Academic Council & ex officio member of Board of Trustees.

2007 > 2012 Honorary Professor, Institute of Biological Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Wales (UK).

2006>2009 Visiting Professor Institute of Biomaterials & Bioengineering, Tokyo Medical & Dental University (J).

2004>2012 Honorary Senior Research Fellow Faculty of Biomedical & Life Sciences, University of  Glasgow, (UK).

2000>2009 Swiss Society for Biomaterials. 09-12 Past President, 07-09 President, 04-07 VP, 02-04 Secretary, 2000 EC.

1999>2007 Honorary Lecturer, Institute of Biological Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Wales, (UK).