Dr Nick West

Dr Nick West


I am an academic gastrointestinal and molecular pathologist with a research interest in colorectal cancer. 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 tumour cell density as a novel method of assessing the degree of response to preoperative therapy in colorectal cancer. I started as an NIHR Clinical Lecturer in 2012 and successfully completed my Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists. I commences a University Academic Fellowship in November 2015 and was promoted to Associate Professor in April 2019. My time is split 50:50 between my academic activities and NHS service work. I regularly supervise undergraduate medical students undertaking research projects and postgraduate MD/PhD students, and I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

In the NHS I have a specialist interest in gastrointestinal histopathology and am involved in the development of the routine molecular pathology service. Externally, I am a scientific member of the NCRI Colorectal CSG. I sit on the trial management group of 11 colorectal cancer trials and am a member of the NCRI CMPath initiative. I was awarded an honorary associate professorship at Aarhus University in 2018. I have previosuly served as a committee member and trustee of the Pathological Society of Great Britain & Ireland and have been a regular faculty member for the Pelican Cancer Foundation national training programmes in low rectal cancer (LOREC), significant polyps and early cancers (SPECC) and advanced cancers (IMPACT).


  • Co-lead for Essential Medical Sciences (2nd year MBChB)

Research interests

My research identifies ways to improve outcomes for patients with colorectal cancer, largely through clinical trials. I am currently working on over 20 phase II and III national and international clinical trials involving the development and validation of new molecular predictors of response to therapy, and surgical technologies. Our research group has strong links with surgeons, oncologists and radiologists in Leeds, and collaborate extensively with a number of groups across the UK and internationally. Our clinical trials are displayed on our website www.virtualpathology.leeds.ac.uk/clinical


  • BSc(hons)
  • MBChB
  • PhD
  • FRCPath
  • FHEA

Professional memberships

  • Royal College of Pathologists
  • British Medical Association
  • Pathological Society of Great Britain & Ireland
  • British Division of the International Academy of Pathology
  • British Society of Gastroenterology

Student education

I co-lead the Essential Medical Sciences course on the 2nd year MBChB programme and provide teaching for Essential Medical Sciences and the subsequent Clinical Pathology course. I regularly supervise undergraduate medical students undertaking research through formal (RESS, MRes, EXSEL) or informal means.

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Medical Research at St James's
  • Cancer
  • Pathology and Data Analytics
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>