Steele, Bob


  • 12632 Citations
  • 55 h-Index
1979 …2025
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Personal profile


Professor Bob Steele obtained 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 Academic Surgery in 2003.  His main interests are the treatment of and screening for colorectal cancer. Having led the UK demonstration pilot that was used to inform the decision to introduce national screening programmes throughout the United Kingdom, he is at present the Clinical Director of the Scottish Colorectal Cancer Screening Programme, and has published extensively in this area. He has chaired several NHS QIS and HIS groups related to colorectal cancer and colorectal cancer screening and he chaired the SIGN group that developed the latest set of colorectal cancer guidelines.  He is a past member of Council of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, past Chair of the Health Improvement, Protection and Services (HIPS) Research Committee of the Scottish Government’s Chief Scientist’s Office, and past President of the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland. He is currently Editor of “The Surgeon”, co-founder and co-director of the Scottish Cancer Prevention Network and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Scottish Cancer Foundation. In 2016, he was appointed as Independent Chair of the UK National Screening Committee. In 2017 he was awarded an Honorary Membership of the Faculty of Public Health and was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 2018 he was elected to Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences and was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.



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 25 post-graduate students, working for PhDs or MDs. 


His initial research interests were in breast cancer and, working for Professor Sir Patrick Forrest, he developed the concept of axilliary 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.


  • RD Surgery
  • General Surgery
  • Colorectal Surgery
  • Screening and Prevention

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  • 28 Similar Profiles
Colorectal Neoplasms Medicine & Life Sciences
Occult Blood Medicine & Life Sciences
Early Detection of Cancer Medicine & Life Sciences
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Hematologic Tests Medicine & Life Sciences
Colonoscopy Medicine & Life Sciences
Rectal Neoplasms Medicine & Life Sciences
Hemoglobins Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2012 2025

Research Output 1979 2019

15 Downloads (Pure)

Association of ten gastrointestinal and other medical conditions with positivity to faecal occult blood testing in routine screening: a large prospective study of women in England

He, E., Alison, R., Blanks, R., Pirie, K., Reeves, G., Ward, R. L., Steele, R., Patnick, J., Canfell, K., Beral, V. & Green, J., 21 Jan 2019, In : International Journal of Epidemiology. 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Occult Blood
Prospective Studies
Colorectal Neoplasms
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
7 Downloads (Pure)

Do other variables add value to assessment of the risk of colorectal disease using faecal immunochemical tests for haemoglobin?

Digby, J., Steele, B., Strachan, J. A., Mowat, C., Anderson, A., McCann, R., Law, L. & Fraser, C., 30 Apr 2019, In : Annals of Clinical Biochemistry.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Odds Ratio
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Gastrointestinal diagnosis using non-white light imaging capsule endoscopy

Cummins, G., Cox, B. F., Ciuti, G., Anbarasan, T., Desmulliez, M. P. Y., Cochran, S., Steele, R., Plevris, J. N. & Koulaouzidis, A., 15 Apr 2019, In : Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Capsule Endoscopy

Lifestyle in patients at increased risk of colorectal cancer

Anderson, A., Caswell, S., Mowat, C., Strachan, J. A. & Steele, B., 28 May 2019, In : Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Life Style
Colorectal Neoplasms

Activities 2002 2006

  • 3 Participation in conference

Scientific Meeting of the Nutrition Society

Robert J. C. Steele (Participant)
3 Jul 20066 Jul 2006

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Newcastle Pathology 2005: 3rd Joint Meeting of the British Division of the International Academy of Pathology and the Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland

Robert J. C. Steele (Participant)
5 Jul 20058 Jul 2005

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

184th Meeting of the Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland

Robert J. C. Steele (Participant)
2 Jul 20025 Jul 2002

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


An analysis of the utility of quantitative faecal immunochemical tests in screening and symptomatic populations

Author: Mcdonald, P. J., 2016

Supervisor: Steele, R. (Supervisor) & Bartlett, W. (External person) (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Diagnosis of Colorectal Polyps Using Optical Projection Tomography

Author: Coats, M. V., 2016

Supervisor: Steele, R. (Supervisor), Carey, F. (Supervisor) & Wedden, S. (External person) (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Evaluation of SELDI-TOF MS as a tool in colorectal cancer screening

Author: Henderson, N. A., 2014

Supervisor: Steele, R. (Supervisor) & McLellan, L. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Medicine


The impact of population based faecal occult blood screening on colorectal cancer

Author: Libby, G., 2014

Supervisor: Steele, R. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

The relationship between faecal haemoglobin concentration and risk of significant colorectal neoplasia in screening and symptomatic populations.

Author: Digby, J., 2016

Supervisor: Steele, R. (Supervisor) & Fraser, C. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy