Dr Ross Alexander Jones

Senior Lecturer in Clinical and Surgical Anatomy (UoE) and Professor of Anatomy (RCSEd)

Dr Ross Alexander Jones

Senior Lecturer in Clinical and Surgical Anatomy (UoE) and Professor of Anatomy (RCSEd)

  • 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 is a Senior Lecturer in Clinical and Surgical Anatomy at The University of Edinburgh, and the Professor of Anatomy at The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

Having graduated in Medicine from the University of St Andrews/Manchester, Ross 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) and 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 MRCS Part A (MCQ; paper panel, question quality, standard setting) and MRCS Part B (OSCE; deputy lead for anatomy broad content area, intercollegiate examiner).

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 45 student research projects (BSc, MSc and PhD).

Ross was elected a Fellow of the Anatomical Society in 2019 and appointed as Professor of Anatomy at The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 2022.

Education & Appointments

Master of Business Administration (MBA), Imperial College London, 2023

Fellow of the Anatomical Society (FAS), 2019

Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (MRCS Ed), 2019

Licenced Teacher of Anatomy, Scottish Government Health Directorate, 2018

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

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

Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (MRCS Eng), 2008

Registered Medical Practitioner (GMC: 6130052), General Medical Council, 2005

Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB, Medicine), 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 in collaboration with Anatomy@Edinburgh, the NHS Scotland Deanery and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh:

  • Core Surgical Training – Regional Anatomy Programme (NHS Scotland Deanery) – Director
  • Higher Surgical Training – Specialty Study Days (NHS Scotland Deanery) – Director
  • Wade Programme in Surgical Anatomy (Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh) – Director

Ross contributes to several other programmes, including MBChB Medicine, MSc Human Anatomy, MSc Clinical Anatomy, BSc Anatomy & Development, BSc Physiology, PG Cert/Dip Anatomical Sciences Online and the Wellcome Trust 4-Year PhD Programme in One Health Models of Disease. Ross is the Chair of the Board of Examiners for the MSc Human Anatomy/Clinical Anatomy and Anatomical Sciences Online programmes.

Research overview

Ross is a Principal Investigator in Euan MacDonald Centre for Motor Neurone Disease Research and Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences, and collaborates closely with the Gillingwater laboratory. Ross’ research focuses on the structure and function of the human neuromuscular junction (NMJ) in health and disease, and aims to inform the translation of animal models of neurodegenerative disease (e.g. motor neurone disease) to the treatment of patients with these conditions. Ross co-ordinates the human NMJ tissue sampling programme with the Department of Clinical Surgery, 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
  • Huang YT, Crick HR, Chaytow H, van der Hoorn D, Alhindi A, Jones RA, Hector RD, Cobb SR, Gillingwater TH. Long-term muscle-specific overexpression of DOK7 in mice using AAV9-tMCK-DOK7. Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids (2023).
  • Alhindi A, Shand M, Smith HL, Leite AS, Huang HT, van der Hoorn D, Ridgway Z, Faller KME, Jones RA, Gillingwater TH, Chaytow H. Neuromuscular junction denervation and terminal Schwann cell loss in the hTDP-43 overexpression mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology (2023).
  • Phadwal K, Koo E, Jones RA, Forsythe RO, Caporali A, MacRae VE. Metformin protects against vascular calcification through the selective degradation of Runx2 by the p62 autophagy receptor. Journal of Cellular Physiology (2022).
  • Cahalan SD, Boehm I, Jones RA, Piercy RJ. Recognising the potential of large animals for modelling neuromuscular junction physiology and disease. Journal of Anatomy. DOI: 10.1111/joa.13749 (2022).
  • Cahalan SD, Perkins J, Boehm I, Jones RA, Gillingwater TH, Piercy RJ. A method to identify, dissect and stain equine neuromuscular junctions for morphological analysis. Journal of Anatomy. DOI: 10.1111/joa.13747 (2022).
  • Collins D, Jones RA, Griffiths B. Anatomical approaches in locally advanced and recurrent pelvic malignancy. European Journal of Surgical Oncology. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejso.2021.12.469 (2022).
  • Jones RA, Mortimer JW, Thompson C, Clark-Stewart S, Hogg G, Keni S, McCulloch V, Alashkham A, Dhumale S, Maclean SJ, Vella M, Findlater GS, Sinclair DW, Yalamarthi S, Gillingwater TH. Improving Surgical Training: Establishing a Surgical Anatomy Programme in Scotland. International Journal of Surgery. open access (2021).
  • Roesl C, Evans ER, Dissanayake KN, Boczanadi V, Jones RA, Jordan GR, Ledahawsky L, Allen GCC, Scott M, Thomson A, Wishart TM, Hughes DI, Mead RJ, Shone CC, Slater CR, Gillingwater TH, Skehel PA, Ribchester RR. Confocal endomicroscopy of neuromuscular junctions stained with physiologically inert protein fragments of tetanus toxin. Biomolecules. 11, 1499 (2021). 
  • Alhindi A, Boehm I, Forsythe RO, Miller J, Skipworth RJE, Simpson H, Jones RA, Gillingwater TH. Terminal Schwann Cells at the Human Neuromuscular Junction. Brain Communications. open access (2021).
  • Boehm I, Alhindi A, Leite AS, Logie C, Gibbs A, Murray O, Farrukh R, Pirie R, Proudfoot C, Clutton R, Wishart TM, Jones RA, Gillingwater TH. Comparative anatomy of the mammalian neuromuscular junction. Journal of Anatomy. open access (2020).
  • Minty G, Hoppen A, Boehm I, Alhindi A, Gibb L, Potter E, Wagner BC, Miller J, Skipworth RJE, Gillingwater TH, Jones RA. aNMJ-morph: a simple macro for rapid analysis of neuromuscular junction morphology. Royal Society Open Science. open access (2020).
  • 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).
  • Marques RF, Engler JB, Küchler K, Jones RA, Lingner T, Salinas G, Gillingwater TH, Friese MA, Duncan KE. Motor neuron translatome reveals deregulation of SYNGR4 and PLEKHB1 in mutant TDP-43 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis models. Human Molecular Genetics. 29, 2647-2661 (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).
  • Kyriacou A et al (contributor: Jones RA). Acute abdomen due to spontaneous splenic rupture as the first presentation of lung malignancy: a case report. Journal of Medical Case Reports. 5, 444 (2011).
  • 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. Illus: Jones RA, Zmuda F. Ultrasound-Guided Regional Anaesthesia: Visualising the Nerve and Needle. In: Rea PM (ed) Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, Volume 1235. Biomedical Visualisation, Volume 6. Springer, pp. 19-34 (2020).
  • Bowness J, Taylor A. Illus: Jones RA, Mortimer JW. Anatomy for the FRCA. Cambridge (2019).
  • Jones RA, Mortimer JW. Anatomy for Surgeons. In: Fisher R, Ahmed K, Dasgupta P (ed) 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).