I am an academic Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon specializing in head and neck cancer and reconstruction. I graduated from the Universities in Bristol and Glasgow with primary degrees in dentistry and medicine. After surgical training in Glasgow, I undertook higher training in OMFS and a head & neck oncology fellowship. Integrated within this clinical training, I completed my MD research thesis in the University of LIverpool as a RCSEng Research Fellow, as well as DoH Genetics in Healthcare Fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Centre USA. I was appointed to Liverpool University and Aintree in 2007, gaining a personal chair in 2012. I am the chair of the Mersey Head & Neck Oncology Group (MHNORG), the research arm of Liverpool Head & Neck Centre. MHNORG is an expanding and vibrant multidisciplinary collaboration of clinicians and scientists committed to improving understanding and treatment of malignancies of the mouth, throat and larynx.
My clinical role is as a head and neck surgeon specialising in oral cavity, microvascular reconstruction, osteoradionecrosis and premalignancy. I have innovated in composite, chimeric and perforator free flaps, sentinel node biopsy and the management of oral dysplasia and lead several multicentre randomised controlled trials.
I lead the University of Liverpool MSc in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, initiated in 2010. This masters pathway has five specialty modules, of which I lead two, reflecting the breadth of the OMFS curriculum.
Following several senior roles in the NCRI Clinical Studies Groups, I was appointed as an associate director of NIHR CRN(Cancer) 2014-2021 with specific remit for advancing surgical oncology trials and the role of surgeons in the national cancer portfolio. I am president elect of the International Academy of Oral Oncology 2023, and I chair the H&N Cancer arm of the COVIDSurg collaborative.
My main research interests are currently:
- Premalignancy, prevention and early detection of oral cancer
- Late effects, particularly late radiation toxicities such as mandibular osteoradionecrosis
- COVIDSurg – the impact of the pandemic on head and neck cancer, and cancer surgery