Dr Ross Alexander Jones

Lecturer in Clinical and Surgical Anatomy

Dr Ross Alexander Jones

Lecturer in Clinical and Surgical Anatomy

  • Anatomy@Edinburgh
  • Edinburgh Medical School: Biomedical Sciences
  • University of Edinburgh

Contact details



Doorway 3
Old Medical School
Teviot Place

Other affiliations

Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences

Euan MacDonald Centre

Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh


Ross graduated in Medicine from the University of St Andrews/Manchester and trained in General Surgery in the North West Deanery (2007-2017) prior to his appointment in Clinical and Surgical Anatomy at the University of Edinburgh. He co-ordinates the Regional Anatomy Programme for Core Surgical Training (NHS Scotland Deanery; Improving Surgical Training Strategy) and co-convenes the Wade Programme in Surgical Anatomy (Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh). Ross is a member of the Intercollegiate Committee for Basic Surgical Examinations (ICBSE) with commitments involving both the Intercollegiate MRCS Part A (MCQ) and Part B (OSCE) examinations.

Ross’ research focuses on the cellular and molecular anatomy of the human neuromuscular junction (NMJ) and the translation of animal models of neurodegenerative disease to the human condition. He is a member of the Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences and the Euan MacDonald Centre for motor neurone disease research and collaborates closely with the Gillingwater laboratory and the department of Clinical Surgery (Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh). He has supervised and co-supervised over 25 student research projects (BSc, MSc and PhD). Ross was elected a Fellow of the Anatomical Society in 2019.


Fellow of Anatomical Society (FAS) 2019

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD, Human Anatomy), University of Edinburgh, 2017

Master of Science (MSc, Human Anatomy), University of Edinburgh, 2012

Member of Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS, England and Edinburgh) 2008

Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB), University of Manchester, 2005

Bachelor of Science (BSc, Medical Sciences), University of St Andrews, 2002

Teaching overview

Ross’ major focus is on the development and delivery of postgraduate surgical anatomy teaching and training. These activities are delivered in collaboration with Anatomy@Edinburgh, NHS Scotland Deanery and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh:

  • Regional Anatomy Programme for Core Surgical Training (NHS Scotland Deanery) - Convener
  • Higher Surgical Training Sub-specialty Study Days (NHS Scotland Deanery) - Convener
  • Wade Programme in Surgical Anatomy (Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh) - Co-convener

In addition, Ross contributes to the MBChB Medicine, MSc Human Anatomy, Anatomical Sciences (Online Distance Learning), Anatomy & Development (BSc Hons) and Physiology (BSc Hons) programmes.

Research overview

Ross collaborates closely with the Gillingwater laboratory on all aspects of human neuromuscular junction (NMJ) form and function. This research aims to inform the translation of animal models of neurodegeneration (e.g. motor neurone disease) to patients with these conditions. Ross co-ordinates the human NMJ sampling programme with the department of Clinical Surgery at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, which has provided new insights into the human NMJ in health and disease (e.g. cancer cachexia).

Selected publications

Original articles
  • Boehm I, Miller J, Wishart TM, Wigmore SJ, Skipworth RJE, Jones RA, Gillingwater TH. Neuromuscular junctions are stable in patients with cancer cachexia. Journal of Clinical Investigation; open access (2020).
  • Jones RA, Harrison C, Eaton SL, Hurtado ML, Graham LC, Alkhammash L, Oladiran OA, Gale A, Lamont DJ, Simpson H, Simmen MW, Soeller C, Wishart TM, Gillingwater TH. Cellular and Molecular Anatomy of the Human Neuromuscular Junction. Cell Reports; open access (2017).
  • Herranz-Martin S, Chandran J, Lewis K, Mulcahy P, Higginbottom A, Walker C, Martinez-Pena y Valenzuela I, Jones RA, Coldicott I, Azzouz M et al. Viral delivery of C9orf72 hexanucleotide repeat expansions in mice leads to repeat-length-dependent neuropathology and behavioural deficits. Disease Models & Mechanisms. 10, 859-868 (2017). 
  • Hall EA, Nahorski MS, Murray LM, Shaheen R, Perkins E, Dissanayake KN, Kristaryanto Y, Jones RA, Vogt J, Mill P et al. PLAA Mutations Cause a Lethal Infantile Epileptic Encephalopathy by Disrupting Ubiquitin-Mediated Endolysosomal Degradation of Synaptic Proteins. The American Journal of Human Genetics. 100, 706-724 (2017).
  • Jones RA, Reich CD, Dissanayake KN, Kristmundsdottir F, Findlater GS, Ribchester RR, Simmen MW, Gillingwater TH. NMJ-morph reveals principal components of synaptic morphology influencing structure-function relationships at the neuromuscular junction. Open Biology; open access (2016).
  • Ross PD, Guy J, Selfridge J, Kamal B, Bahey N, Tanner KE, Gillingwater TH, Jones RA, Loughrey CM, Cobb S et al. Exclusive expression of MeCP2 in the nervous system distinguishes between brain and peripheral Rett syndrome-like phenotypes. Human Molecular Genetics. 25, 4389-4404 (2016).
  • Powis RA, Karyka E, Boyd P, Côme J, Jones RA, Zheng Y, Szunyogova E, Groen EJN, Hunter G, Gillingwater TH et al. Systemic restoration of UBA1 ameliorates disease in spinal muscular atrophy. JCI Insight; open access (2016).
  • Hunter G, Powis RA, Jones RA, Groen EJN, Shorrock HK, Lane FM, Zheng Y, Sherman DL, Brophy PJ, Gillingwater TH. Restoration of SMN in Schwann cells reverses myelination defects and improves neuromuscular function in spinal muscular atrophy. Human Molecular Genetics. 25, 2853-2861 (2016).
  • Atkin WS et al (collaborator: Jones RA). Once-only flexible sigmoidoscopy screening in prevention of colorectal cancer: a multicentre randomised controlled trial. The Lancet. 375, 1624-1633 (2010).
Book chapters
  • Bowness J, Taylor A. Anatomy for the FRCA. Illus: Jones RA, Mortimer JW. Cambridge (2019).
  • Jones RA, Mortimer JW. Anatomy for Surgeons. In: Fisher R, Ahmed K, Dasgupta P (eds) Introduction to Surgery for Students. Springer, pp. 17-29 (2017).

Online resources
  • Minty G, Hoppen A, Boehm I, Alhindi A, Gibb L, Potter E, Wagner B, Miller J, Skipworth R, Gillingwater TH, Jones RA. aNMJ-morph macro [resource]. University of Edinburgh (2019).
  • Jones RA, Gillingwater TH. NMJ-morph [resource]. University of Edinburgh (2016).