Sean Accordion test



About the Author

  • Ruhangaza Deo

    Head of the Anatomical Pathology Department, Butaro Cancer Centre of Excellence, Rwanda

    Ruhangaza is an expert in digital pathology and will be speaking at the 3rd Digital Pathology Congress: Asia. In his spare time he likes cooking and walking his dog. 

  • Alistair Burt MP

    Minister of State at the Department of Health

    Alistair Burt was a junior minister at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office 2010–2013, having been a social security minister at the Department of Social  Security in John Major’s government 1995–1997. He takes over the care and support portfolio from well regarded Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb.

  • Ben Gummer MP

    Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Care Quality: Ben Gummer MP

    Ben Gummer was elected the Conservative MP for Ipswich in May 2010. He has campaigned to retain and improve health services in the east of England and has written a book on the Black Death called The Scourging Angel. His ministerial portfolio includes pathology and death certification.

  • Ahai Luvai


    I am a Consultant in Chemical Pathology and Metabolic Medicine in Carlisle, England. My clinical role includes disorders of lipid metabolism, obesity, nutrition support, renal stone and bone disease.  My laboratory interests are reference intervals, performance of clinical decision limits and the impact of biological variation on disease monitoring.

    I became fascinated with Chemical Pathology and Metabolic Medicine during Core Medical Training after a placement in the Metabolic Medicine and Clinical Biochemistry Department at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

    I undertook specialty training in Yorkshire and researched Reference Intervals for my FRCPath dissertation.

    I love the specialty because of the interaction with a wide range of professionals including GPs and scientists which is essential for patient care. Additionally, the specialty lends itself to the adoption of new technology and innovation which is exciting.

    Becoming a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists was a career highlight for me. I hope to inspire the next generation of pathologists. 

  • Caroline Surawy

    Examinations Co-ordinator

    Contact for queries regarding Part 1 examinations and Haematology on 020 7451 6760

Career research profile

  • Professor Phil Quirke

    I have always been naturally inquisitive, wanting to know the reasons why things happen. I scraped into medical school in Southampton whereI had fun and organised a number of activities such as being the inaugural fixture and social secretary of the student rugby club, created a committee to establish a student bar with a £20,000 loan which we paid off in a year thanks to my colleagues’ drinking habits and established the bed race between the two hospitals. 

    I undertook a 4th year project on Ford workers’ shift circadian rhythms where I experienced early on the frustration of trying to manage research and develop assays. Next, Iapplied for and obtained a year-long post-sophomore fellowship in Canada working alongside Pathology trainees and being exposed to GI pathology by David[DM1]  Owen.  I published two case reports from Canada and then a third on my return to my 5th year. 

    I decided on academic pathology and worked in Leicester under Professor Eric Walker and Ian[DM2]  Talbot.  Moving onto Leeds, I was appointed Registrar/Clinical Lecturer in 1982 under Professor Colin Bird and Mike[DM3]  Dixon.  I have never moved as Leeds provided a stable environment in which to develop. 

    Luck has played a part - a small project Mike Dixon and I started showed that simple pathology could predict local recurrence of rectal cancer. This has been a theme of research that still continues todayof improving the management ofbowel cancer. 

    I obtained my PhD and FRCPath by exam, learnt a wide range of techniques - getting interested in flow cytometry and DNA changes in tumours, the polymerase chain reaction and its uses in paraffin-embedded tissues in cancer and infection and developed a team of medics and pathologists and collaborations with other areas.

    Now in 2015, thiscontinues. Only now it is next generation sequencing and chips and slowly we can improve the treatment of disease. I learnt that clinical trials were a very strong method of translating science into practice, being involved in landmark studies such as MRC Classicc showing that key hole surgery was safeand effective, MRC CR07 where the combination of excellent surgery and radiotherapy almost abolished local recurrence, a range of chemotherapy trials and their molecular biology (MRC Focus 1-4) and latterly EME Rolarr showing no major benefit of Robotic surgery and EME ENROL that showed enhanced recovery was valuable.  We now organise the pathology for over 24 national trials. 

    During my diverse career I have run a major histopathology service for 13 years, been Workforce and Research Director of the College, chaired the pathology committee for the NHS bowel cancer screening programme and have a major interest in academic training,being the academic Training programme director in Leeds as well as being elected President of the Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland, Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and an NIHR Senior Investigator.

    Why consider academia?  It is hard work but it allows one to be the master - or mistress - of one’s own career. The excitement of being the first person to see the experimental results of your own thoughts, to work in a team of energetic young people with great careers ahead of them, delivering your first talks at international conferences and seeing your results in print influencing scientific and medical thinking and practice.

    Our careers are getting longer and becoming portfolios. Academia allows choice between various challenges within research, teaching, service delivery, industry, start ups, policy making and a range of potential employers and countries. I have never been bored, always challenged and have an international network of friends and colleagues all over the world.  Academia is out of fashion but if you do not give it a try you will not know the excitement and fulfilment that can be achieved.


Cellular Pathology

  • Dr Bridget Wilkins FRCPath

    Histopathology, Member of Research Committee

    Most of my story is typical of many histopathologists training through the late 1980s and early 1990s. I entered pathology training intending, from the start, to pursue an academic career; I had done an inspirational intercalated BSc degree in Immunology, with mentors including  Avrion Mitchison and Martin Raff, who were international stars in their fields at that time. My first Cellular Pathology post was in Leeds, as an NHS SHO then Registrar (equivalent to ST1 and ST2, although less structured). Under the wise leadership of Professor Colin Bird, everyone in the department was expected to undertake research from the earliest possible opportunity; most of us couldn’t wait and, with 12 of us in the department at different stages of training, there was healthy rivalry as well as plentiful collaboration. All of the consultants in Leeds at that time were Senior Lecturers or Professors and all supervised research.

    My first academic post was as a Lecturer in Pathology at Southampton University, at registrar grade - approximately equivalent to a modern ST3. In that post I completed a part-time DM, with research fitted in flexibly around my diagnostic work, and then was successful in obtaining a CRC (now CR-UK) Research Fellowship for a Clinician. That allowed me to undertake full-time research for three years followed by a further year of part-time research and re-engagement with diagnostic histopathology. I completed a PhD and at the end of the final year I was appointed as a Senior Lecturer in Southampton – my first consultant grade post. That was in 1995; I had three highly productive years thereafter, collaborating with colleagues in haematology and immunology, supervising and co-supervising a series of PhD students for whom I obtained internal and external funding. I also supervised BMS staff doing MPhil projects. From 1998 to 2000, increasing pressure from multiple sources made sustaining this activity impossible; increasing requirements of the Research Selectivity Exercise (equivalent of REF), departmental restructuring with loss of core technical staff supporting research, and increasing diagnostic service demands in my NHS consultant role all contributed.

    In 2000 I had the opportunity to relocate to Newcastle to pursue my established specialist expertise in Haematopathology in an NHS consultant post, and so I moved north. I had an honorary Senior Lecturer contract in parallel and, over time, I built research collaborations with colleagues in the university. In late 2006, I was highly fortunate to be able to transfer back into an academic Senior Lecturer post within Newcastle University, where I had excellent support within the Northern Institute for Cancer Research. 

    I was excited to be back in an academic environment, even though diagnostic pressures remained a constant conflict; I was one of only two academics in a department of approximately 20 consultants, with no departmental infrastructure to support research and without trainees pursuing research projects. My story diverges from ‘plan’ for personal reasons at this point, but an important message arises from this; life outside work influences our energy to follow our careers and we should not deny the validity of this. After much deliberation, at the end of 2007 I found that I needed to move away from Newcastle following a lengthy period of attempted readjustment after the death of my partner.

    No academic posts in haematopathology being available elsewhere, I was fortunate to be able to move to an NHS consultant post at St Thomas’ Hospital at the start of 2008. Here, I have pursued collaborative research to the extent that time has been available, contributing to a slow but steady trickle of academic publications. I have not directed a research programme of my own (though I still have ideas I should like to pursue!) and I have channelled my energy in directions that can be more readily accommodated alongside a busy diagnostic service workload. I support R&D administration within my Trust; I have had roles on the research committee of the Pathological Society and now the RCPath research committee; I have been funded by the National Cancer Research Institute to develop strategy and actions to support re-growth of academic cellular pathology for the future.

    I am now in the latter part of my career and I feel more strongly than ever the vital need for a culture of research and innovation to be restored in cellular pathology. Throughout my entire career I have taught the next generations of pathologists. I try always to convey the importance of ‘research-mindedness’ to all trainees, whether they have academic aspirations or not. We all need to be innovators throughout our working lives. Computers with ever-more sophisticated algorithms can pattern-match better than we can. Our profession increasingly needs to do more than interpret morphology to provide modern, and constantly modernising, diagnostic services for our patients.  



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