Christopher B. Ruff, Ph.D., is a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He serves as director of the Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution and also holds an appointment in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.
A paleoanthropologist, Dr. Ruff studies and teaches students how variation in skeletal morphology is related to mechanical forces applied during life.
His work – which focuses largely on hominins – unites biomechanical skeletal-system modeling with comparative and evolutionary studies of primates. Knowledge gained through Dr. Ruff’s work is being applied clinically. For example, the skeletal-strength indices he developed help clinicians predict people’s risk of developing osteoporosis and suffering bone fractures.
Dr. Ruff earned his doctoral degree in biological anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania. He then completed a research fellowship in orthopaedic surgery at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Hospital. He also holds a bachelor’s degree (Phi Beta Kappa) in anthropology from Stanford University. He joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1983.
He has published more than 150 journal articles and delivered scores of invited lectures. Dr. Ruff is a Fellow (Anthropology) of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and has served as an advisor for the AAAS, National Science Foundation, American Association of Physical Anthropologists and The Leakey Foundation.
A former editor of the Yearbook of Physical Anthropology, he also has served on the editorial boards of publications that include the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Journal of Human Evolution and Journal of the Anthropological Society of Nippon.