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Bob Steele

Bob Steele

Bob Steele

Senior Research Fellow, Consultant to Bowel Screening Centre

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Professor Bob Steele did his initial surgical and academic training in Edinburgh, Hong Kong and Aberdeen and was appointed as Senior Lecturer in Surgery at the University of Nottingham in 1990.  He was then appointed Professor of Surgical Oncology at the University of Dundee in 1996 and as Professor of Surgery and Head of the University Department of Surgery in 2003. 

His main interest is colorectal cancer and he is Director of the Scottish Colorectal Cancer Screening Programme, having acted as clinical lead for the UK demonstration pilot that was used to inform the decision to introduce national screening programmes throughout the United Kingdom. 

He has chaired several QIS groups related to colorectal cancer and colorectal cancer screening and chaired the SIGN group that developed the latest set of colorectal cancer guidelines.  He is currently a member of Council of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the editor of “The Surgeon”. 

He also chairs the Board of Directors of the Scottish Cancer Foundation.


His initial research interests were in breast cancer and, working for Professor Sir Patrick Forrest, he developed the concept of auxiliary node sampling.  In Hong Kong, his interest shifted to upper gastrointestinal disease and he was instrumental in developing and introducing endoscopic haemostasis for bleeding peptic ulcer. 

In Nottingham, working for Professor Jack Hardcastle,  he became involved with the early trials of colorectal cancer screening and since then, colorectal cancer has remained his primary clinical and academic interest.  He has carried out work in surgery and radiotherapy for colorectal cancer and in the area of genetic and chromosomal abnormalities that underlie the disease.  His main research interest, however, is in colorectal cancer screening and he has published extensively in this area.


For 10 years, Professor Steele acted as Convenor for the Gastrointestinal Course of the Dundee University Undergraduate Curriculum.  He continues to take an active interest in undergraduate teaching, delivering lectures, tutorials and ward teaching.  He is also committed to post-graduate teaching in surgery, both on a day-to-day basis and as a Tutor on surgical skills courses.  He has supervised over 20 post-graduate students, working for PhDs or MDs and he is currently supervising 3 PhD and 2 MD students. 

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