Nick West

Job Title: UAF in Molecular & Digital Pathology

I started my undergraduate clinical training here at the University of Leeds in 1998 and graduated with an intercalated BSc in Pharmacology in 2002 and MB ChB in 2004. I commenced clinical postgraduate training in Histopathology at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and was awarded an NIHR-funded Academic Clinical Fellowship in 2006 leading to a Yorkshire Cancer Research-funded PhD between 2009-2011 under the supervision of Professor Phil Quirke in the Section of Pathology and Tumour Biology. My PhD looked at how pathologists can determine the optimal operation for patients with colon and low rectal cancer, and how this can be fed back to surgeons to improve outcomes for patients. I also developed a novel method of assessing the response to pre-operative therapy in colorectal cancer. I started as an NIHR Clinical Lecturer in 2012 and have recently successfully completed my Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists.


My UCAF will commence in November 2015 and will be split 50:50 between my academic activities and NHS service work. My research will continue to build on the work undertaken in my PhD by looking for ways to improve outcomes for patients with colorectal cancer. I am the deputy on our Yorkshire Cancer Research programme grant ‘accelerating new treatments in clinical trials in bowel cancer’, and currently working on a number of phase II and III national and international clinical trials. These studies involve the development and validation of new molecular predictors of response to therapy, and the integration of morphology and genomics using digital pathology. I am a personal tutor in the School of Medicine and additionally supervise undergraduate medical students and postgraduate students in their research. We have strong links with surgeons, oncologists and engineers in Leeds, and collaborate extensively with a number of groups across the UK and also in Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany and Japan. In the NHS I am developing a specialist interest in gastrointestinal histopathology and am also heavily involved in the development of the routine molecular pathology service and our bid for a Genomics Medicine Centre.