Professor Jo Martin takes up her new role as President of The Royal College of Pathologists. Jo is a practicing histopathologist and Professor of Pathology at Queen Mary University of London.

Professor Martin said:

“This is a very exciting time to become President. The wealth of expertise and talent across pathology is astonishing, and the advances made by pathologists, and their day to day work are making a real difference in improving patient care. Genetics and molecular pathology are revolutionising the way we diagnose and treat people with cancer, infectious diseases and rare conditions. Pathologists are central to delivering this vision; they are the specialists who diagnose cancer, infections and a wealth of other conditions, perform the tests and interpret the results.

Digital pathology is also changing the way we work and pathologists are working to develop this technology. It will allow the rapid referral of cases between Trusts or across pathology networks, which benefits patients by improving  our access to expert advice and opinion on diagnoses. It will also help use our limited workforce across sites in the most efficient way, allowing flexible working.”

The College is in a unique position to support and promote the advances that pathology makes to health and patients. It champions research and innovation, maintaining standards of service and training quality, and protecting resources needed to develop future generations of pathology professionals.

Pathology faces far-reaching challenges including financial and workforce pressures, changes in the shape of organisations, rising workload and increasing complexity of our work. There are severe recruitment problems in some specialities and we are working to help improve the working lives of colleagues. Pressures for trainees are acute, as are risks of reducing education budgets, but pathology is a great career choice, as well as a very important one.

Jo added:

“As President I want to help others appreciate the extraordinary skills, expertise and contribution of pathologists to the prevention, diagnosis, direction of treatment and monitoring of disease. I am honoured to have the opportunity to tell people about the significant and ongoing achievements of an unduly modest community of fantastically expert healthcare professionals, whose contribution is vital.

Professor Martin was elected by Fellows of the College in November 2016. She takes up the role from Dr Suzy Lishman who demits office.

Professor Martin qualified via Cambridge University and the London Hospital Medical College. She holds a PhD of the University of London and a Masters in Leadership. She is a practising histopathologist, with a particular subspecialist expertise in neuromuscular disease of the gut and renal pathology. Jo has previously run clinical and diagnostic departments. She acted as Medical Director and subsequently Chief Medical Officer at Barts Health NHS Trust and currently leads on education and research across the Trust. Jo was National Clinical Director for Pathology for NHS England from 2013 -2016.