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RCS President

Professor Derek Alderson

Derek Alderson is currently an emeritus Professor of Surgery at the University of Birmingham. He was Professor of Surgery at the University of Bristol from 1997 to 2005 before becoming the Barling Professor of Surgery and Head of Department in Birmingham, a post he held until October 2015. He holds an honorary appointment as a consultant surgeon with University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Before moving to Birmingham in 2005, he was Professor of Gastrointestinal Surgery and Head of Teaching in the Department of Clinical Sciences at South Bristol. He has held visiting professorships at the Universities of Edinburgh, Adelaide and Cape Town.

He has held a variety of managerial and executive appointments locally and nationally, including: Senior Tutor responsible for professional behaviour within the College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham; Clinical Director for Surgery at United Bristol Healthcare Trust; Programme Director for Surgical Training in the South West region; Chairman of the oesophagogastric sub-group of the National Cancer Research Institute; and President of the Association of Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland from 2000 to 2002. Between 2010 and 2016 Derek was Editor-in-Chief of the British Journal of Surgery and currently he is a member of the council of the Medical Defence Union and Editor-in-Chief of the BJS Open.

He qualified from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and trained in the northern region and in the United States. His research interests lie in the field of oesophgogastric surgery, particularly upper gastrointestinal cancers. He has conducted extensive laboratory work related to tumour suppressor genes, growth factors, mechanisms of invasion and, most recently, tumour metabolomics. He has published widely on clinical topics particularly related to tumour staging by endoscopic ultrasonography and laparoscopy as well as quality-of-life assessments. He is currently the principal surgical investigator for two multicentre trials in the UK involving surgery and chemotherapy in patients with oesophageal and gastric cancers.

Professor Alderson became President of the Royal College of Surgeons in July 2017 and is committed to improving surgical standards at all levels through education, research and clinical performance.  

The President writes a bi-monthly article in the Bulletin magazine. Browse recent articles

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