Pathologists in Profile Podcast Series

Welcome to the Pathologists in Profile podcast. In this podcast series, we’ll be chatting to some incredibly inspiring people working across the 17 different pathology specialties. Each month we’ll be releasing two episodes, featuring the same guest speaker. In part one, we will explore the life and career of our podcast guest, and in part two, we’ll be delving into a case study chosen by our guest.

About the podcast host 

Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Natasha Cutmore studied medicine at the University of Birmingham before moving to West Yorkshire to train in Histopathology. Natasha is currently out of programme on her PhD in Cambridge, where she is learning the craft of bioinformatics.  

"I really do love pathology in all its forms and feel it is a shame that we are sometimes thought of as a 'hidden' specialty. A big motivator behind creating the podcast was my passion for people to hear about the varied and amazing careers that this sector offers and to promote the wonderful world of pathology."

About the podcast sponsor

The Pathologists in Profile podcast is kindly sponsored by Cirdan. Cirdan is a leading provider of informatics and imaging solutions that enhance and speed up the diagnosis of patients. Headquartered in the UK, with offices in Canada and Australia, Cirdan is recognised as one of the leading suppliers of laboratory information systems worldwide. Their systems are currently helping to increase efficiency and streamline operations in clinical laboratories across six continents. Find out more at www.cirdan.com.  

Episodes

Pilot episodes 

In our pilot episodes, host Natasha speaks with consultant histopathologist, Prof. Sarah Coupland. Originally from Australia, where she studied Medicine before moving to Germany to do her specialist training in Pathology, Sarah is a Consultant Histopathologist and the current George Holt Chair of Pathology in Liverpool. She was Director of the ‘North West Cancer Research Centre’ for 6 years until December 2019. Since November 2020, Sarah is the current Vice President (Communications) and Genomics Lead of the Royal College of Pathologists. She is also General Secretary-Elect of the Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

 

Part one: Prof. Sarah Coupland's life and career

In part one, Natasha finds out about Sarah’s childhood in Australia, what inspired Sarah to pursue medicine, and the challenges and successes throughout her training and career.

Part two: Prof. Sarah Coupland's case studies

In part two, Sarah discusses two patients who presented with vitreous floaters (specks or dots in a one’s vision that seem to float away when looked at directly) but received different diagnoses.

January 2022

2022 marks the 60th anniversary of the Royal College of Pathologists. In our first Diamond Jubilee podcast episodes, host Natasha Cutmore speaks with Nigel Brown, Consultant Clinical Scientist in Analytical Toxicology and deputy examiner in Clinical Chemistry for the IBMS. Nigel leads a small regional toxicology service in the North East of England. His interests are drug metabolism, mass spectrometry and alcohol markers. Outside the lab he sings in a choral society, plays the church organ (reasonably well) and cycles to and from work. His children are both now at university, so he and his wife are learning how to talk to each other again!

 

Part one: Nigel Brown's life and career

In part one, Natasha finds out about Nigel's exciting and all-encompassing career in toxicology, spanning varied roles in academia and NHS laboratories. 

Part two: Nigel Brown's case study

In part two of our January 2022 episode, toxicologist Nigel Brown guides us through a post-mortem case study and discusses some of the challenges toxicology teams face when interpreting results. 

 

February 2022

In our February episodes, Natasha speaks with virologist Miren Iturriza-Gómara. Miren is the Initiative Team Lead for Rotavirus Vaccines at the Centre for Vaccine Innovation and Access, PATH. Her interests are gastrointestinal infections and vaccines against diarrhoeal disease, and in particular rotavirus disease prevention. Prior to joining PATH, she was Professor of Virology at the University of Liverpool and Director of the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Gastrointestinal Infections at the University of Liverpool in collaboration with PHE and Warwick University. Outside work she enjoys nature and walking, cooking and is rediscovering the joys of snow and cross-country skiing. 

 

Part one: Miren Iturriza-Gómara's life and career

In part one, we explore Miren's career in virology, which has taken her from San Sebastian, Spain, to Belgium, the UK and most recently to Switzerland. 

Part two: The Past, Present and Future of Rotaviruses and Vaccines

In keeping with the College's 60th anniversary theme, pathology: past, present and future, Miren chats to Natasha about the past, present and future of rotaviruses and vaccines. Find out what rotaviruses are, how scientists create new vaccines, and the hurdles that need to be overcome when creating vaccines for developing countries.

 

March 2022

In our March episodes, Natasha speaks with Aberdeen-based Consultant Chemical Pathologist, Dr Bernie Croal. Bernie has had an interesting career, focussed around health services research, senior NHS management positions, and professional body work. He has served in various clinical director roles within the NHS and is the current chair of the Scotland Regional Council (third term) within the Royal College of Pathologists. Bernie has also previously chaired six of the College’s committees. In addition, he has been an RCPath Trustee for a total of 13 years and was an RCPath Vice President from 2011-2014. Bernie is also the current President of the Association for Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine (ACB-UK).

 

Part one: Bernie Croal's life and career

In this episode, host Natasha Cutmore speaks with Bernie Croal, about his humble beginnings and his journey to becoming a Consultant Chemical Pathologist.

Part two: the past, present and future of intravenous nutritional support

In part two, Bernie guides us through the past, present and future of a specific clinical aspect of his job: intravenous nutritional support.

 

April 2022

In our April episodes, we chat to veterinary pathologist, Reverend Dr Jenny McKay. Originally from Northern Ireland, Jenny is the European Head of Anatomic Pathology, IDEXX, a global veterinary healthcare company. She leads a team of over 30 anatomic pathologists and histopathology, in most countries, is read out using digital pathology. Prior to joining IDEXX, Jenny was a Senior Pathologist at AstraZeneca for 12 years, and was a Lecturer in Veterinary Pathology at Liverpool University. Jenny completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge in 1997 in the field of neuropathology and her specialist interests are in neuropathology, feline pathology and dermatopathology. She was an Examiner of the European College of Veterinary Pathologists for six years and is a past President of the European Society of Toxicologic Pathology. Outside of work, Jenny is an ordained priest and has an extensive social media presence as @TheReverendVet. She also enjoys Nordic walking with husband, Dave, and has three cats.

 

Part one: Reverend Dr Jenny McKay's life and career

In part one, find out why Jenny chose a career in veterinary pathology, how digital pathology has changed the way she works and how she came to also be an ordained priest.

Part two: Reverend Dr Jenny McKay's case study

In this episode, Jenny talks us through her chosen case study: a cat with cowpox. 

 

May 2022

Our May podcast guest is Consultant Paediatric Pathologist, Professor Marta Cohen OBE. Marta is originally from Argentina, where she studied Medicine and trained in general pathology, before taking a fellowship in Paediatric Pathology at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. Marta moved back to Argentina where she took a position as a Consultant Paediatric Pathologists at a Children’s Hospital in La Plata. After a decade, she moved to the UK, where she was appointed as a Paediatric Pathologist at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. She became Head of Histopathology in 2004 and Clinical Director of Pharmacy, Diagnostics and Genetics in 2019. In 2018 she was appointed Academic Lead for the Specialty Advisory Committee (SAC) on Prenatal, Perinatal and Paediatric Pathology of the Royal College of Pathologists.

Currently, Marta is a Council Member of the European Society of Pathology, Director of the Paediatric and Perinatal Pathology Giordano Fellowship of the European Society of Pathology and Board Member of the International Society for the Study and Prevention of Perinatal and Infant Death (ISPID). She is the Past President of the International Paediatric and Perinatal Pathology Association (2016-2018) and course Director of the Post Graduate IPPA Course (2014-2018). In recognition of her work on sudden infant death syndrome, she was awarded an OBE in 2020.

 

Part one: Professor Marta Cohen's life and career

In part one, we follow Marta's incredible career path from Argentina to South Africa and then to the UK. Find out how a ten-dollar dinner changed her life, about her work in sudden infant death syndrome and how she came to acquire over 131K followers on Instagram.

Part two: Professor Marta Cohen's case study

In this episode, Marta discusses a case of sudden death in childhood and Jarvell and Lange-Nielsen Syndrome.

 

June 2022

In our June episode, we chat with Consultant in Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Dr Brendan Healy. Brendan started his medical career as an undergraduate at the University of Liverpool and went on to specialise in microbiology and infectious diseases. He is Clinical, IP&C and antimicrobial stewardship lead for the Swansea infection service. Dr Healy is the Blood Borne Viral Hepatitis Action Plan for Wales Lead for Cardiff and Vale (Management of the hepatitis B and C viruses), Chair of the Viral Hepatitis subgroup of the All-Wales Liver Disease Implementation Group and Lead clinician for the All-Wales Hepatitis Network and All Wales Hepatitis C roll out programme. He provides advice to the All-Wales Medicines Strategy Group on matters relating to hepatitis, HIV and infectious disease. Other work interests include orthopaedic infection, C diff and Q fever. He was the principal investigator for three COVID trials in Swansea including RECOVERY & MEDICAGO (a vaccine trial).

Brendan has spent time in several African countries and worked in Sierra Leone during the 2014/15 Ebola outbreak. More recently, he has helped to transform the lives of patients with hepatitis C through his work to eliminate postcode prescribing. The hard work Brendan and his team put into this was recognised with a BMJ leadership award in 2020. Brendan has also helped to establish a successful infectious diseases training programme in Swansea. Outside of work he is a keen sportsman, currently focussing on touch rugby as he is representing Wales in the male 45’s category at the upcoming Euros. He also likes running with his dog, spending time with his kids, reading, socialising and learning to dance Salsa.

 

Part one: Dr Brendan Healy's life and career

Brendan started out wanting to be a big game vet. In this episode, find out what made Brendan change his mind and inspire him to pursue a career in medicine, specialise in microbiology and infectious diseases and go on to work in Africa as well as in the UK.

Part two: Dr Brendan Healy's case study

In part two, Brendan talks us through a case of a patient with hepatitis C and speaks about developments in testing and screening, and how his team are using mobile phones to help improve compliance in hepatitis C patients.