8 November 2019

Professor Furness will serve as President Elect until the AGM 2020, when he will take up the role of President.

At the College’s Annual General Meeting on 7 November, Professor Peter Furness was appointed as President Elect for a one-year term.

Professor Furness will take up his role as College President following the College’s AGM in 2020.

He was elected President of the Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath) in 2008 - 2011, having served as an elected member of College Council in 2002-5 and Vice-President in 2005-8. 

Professor Furness said:

'It is of course an honour to be elected to lead the Royal College of Pathologists, and a double honour to be re-elected. I am delighted to have the support of members of the College and I look forward to serving my colleagues and our profession.

During the coming year I will be President-Elect.  I will use it to listen, to learn, and to get up to date.  I therefore welcome all relevant communications from members of the College and beyond, both supportive and critical.  My email address is pnf@pathology.plus.com . But in the coming year Professor Martin is President and my job as President-Elect is to support her.  I will be delighted to do that and I look forward to delivering both roles to the best of my ability over the next four years.'

Professor Peter Furness is a consultant histopathologist and honorary professor of renal pathology in Leicester.  He has worked in Leicester since 1990.  He gained a ‘double first’ in Natural Sciences at Cambridge (Fitzwilliam College) and went on to study clinical medicine at Wolfson College, Oxford, where he met his wife Sarah. His training in diagnostic histopathology and his PhD, in renal immunopathology, were undertaken in Nottingham.

His research interests have spanned the laboratory investigation of mechanisms of renal disease, especially fibrosis, to international collaborations on refining the interpretation of renal biopsy results and the classification of renal disease. 

In 1990 he established the UK’s first national histopathology external quality assessment (EQA) scheme, in renal pathology, and in 1997 he chaired the RCPath working group that defined how interpretive EQA schemes in the UK now operate. 

His longstanding interest in medical ethics led to his close involvement with the debates around the development and implementation of the UK’s Human Tissue Acts and subsequently in providing training for research ethics committees in the appropriate evaluation of tissue-based research projects.  He was foundation Chair of the Clinical Ethics committee of Leicestershire’s hospitals.  He was a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics from 2013-2015.

Professor Furness’ presidency of the RCPath was characterised mainly by work to maintain the quality of medical laboratory services despite the financial downturn, especially by improving the ways in which quality in the medical laboratory is evaluated.