Clinical Trial Pathology: Training a New Generation of Clinical Trial Pathologists

The Royal College of Pathologists is hosting the second of an annual workshop series in conjunction with the National Cancer Research Institute’s CM-Path initiative. This workshop will provide key information to pathologists who are keen to get involved in clinical research; to include an introduction to navigating the academic career pathway, quality assurance in clinical trials, statistics and clinical trial design.

We welcome trainees and established consultants with an interest in clinical research.

An excellent course. This is an important area and we need more events like this.   Workshop attendee, December 2016


09.30    Registration and Coffee

10.00    Getting into Clinical Trials: Tales of a Former Trainee Dr Nick West
10.30    Overview of NCRI Clinical Studies groups – experience of a CSG pathologist Dr Abeer Shaaban
10.45    Awareness of CSGs – Survey Results Dr Dennis Zhang

11.00    Coffee

Quality Assurance in Clinical Trials
11.15    Regulation and accreditation of laboratories undertaking trial work, Dr Owen Driskell
11.40    Scoring and reporting – guidance for laboratories undertaking trial work Dr Max Robinson
12.05    Use and validation of digital pathology and imaging for clinical trials and research  Professor Clare Verrill        
12.30    Panel discussion

13.00    Lunch & networking

14.15    NIHR Costing for Trials – Where to Start? Mr Phillip Good
14.40    CT-PAG: Providing Advice for Pathology in Clinical Trials Professor Craig Robson  
15.10    Trial Design and Statistics for Beginners Professor Judith Bliss 
15.40    Discussion and close 



  • Dr Owen Driskell

    Dr Owen Driskell is a HCPC registered Clinical Biochemist and Lead for Laboratory Medicine for the NIHR Clinical Research Network West Midlands. His remit is to support professionalism in pathology research both in the services provided for NHS research and for pathology staff leading their own research, and to promote the contribution and importance of pathology services to the wider research community.

    He has worked in NHS pathology laboratories where one of his responsibilities has been the coordination of research activity for the whole pathology department. He has worked with the MHRA, HRA, NHS R&D forum, the NIHR CRN Coordinating Centre and others to promote the importance of engaging with pathology to support research and to develop training packages to address pathology research needs.

    Dr Driskell is also the founder of NIHR CRN West Midlands RAPID (Research Advisory group for Pathology In research Delivery), an NIHR Faculty Alumni, a member of the Association for Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine's Scientific Committee and a Standing Member of the NICE Diagnostic Advisory Committee.

  • Dr Max Robinson

    Max Robinson is an academic pathologist at Newcastle University. He provides specialist head and neck pathology services at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. His research is focused on the pathogenesis of head and neck cancer. He is pathology lead for several UK clinical trials and is a member of the National Cancer Research Institute Head and Neck Cancer Clinical Studies Group. He has a program of research examining novel biomarkers in head and neck cancer, including the role of human papillomavirus in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. He has strong links with tissue diagnostic companies and is a consultant for Leica Biosystems Limited.

  • Dr Craig Robson

    Dr Craig Robson is Professor of Molecular Urology at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research, Newcastle University. He heads a large group of non-clinical and clinical academics with a strong translational research focus, primarily investigating cell signalling in prostate cancer and understanding the molecular mechanisms that drive the progression to therapy-resistant, metastatic prostate cancer. His group have a number of ongoing biotech collaborations that involve the identification and assay development of biomarkers that distinguish indolent from aggressive prostate cancer.

    He has been actively involved in initiating and leading several National and European prostate cancer research networks that support the training and mentoring of junior researchers.

    Craig was past Chair of the NCRI Biomarkers Advisory Group and has been Chair of CT-PAG since 2016.

  • Dr Abeer Shaaban

    Dr Shaaban is a specialist breast pathologist at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham.

    She completed her PhD in molecular pathology at the University of Liverpool, did her pathology training at the West Midlands and Yorkshire and worked as consultant pathologist in Leeds then Birmingham.

    She has led a number of research studies and contributed to breast cancer trials as co-investigator, member of a Trial Management Group and as a central pathology reviewer. She has been member of the NCRI breast CSG for two terms and acted as chair of the Translational Subgroup of the NCRI Breast CSG for 5 years. The subgroup produced several landmark publications including guidance on improving the turnaround of HER2 testing, manufacture and reporting of tissue microarrays and handling of neoadjuvant chemotherapy cases.

    Dr Shaaban Leads CM-PATH Workstream 2 (clinical trials). She is a member of the International Committee of The Royal College of Pathologists and is Breast Pathology Clinical Advisory for the West Midlands.

  • Professor Clare Verrill

    Professor Clare Verrill is an Associate Professor in Pathology in the Nuffield Dept of Surgical Sciences, University of Oxford and an Honorary Consultant in Cellular Pathology at the John Radcliffe Hospital where she is a urological pathology consultant, having achieved her CCT in 2008.

    Clare’s research interests are in, amongst other things, multi-modal and digital pathology and image analysis in cancer, primarily testis and prostate.  As well as her academic group (The Verrill Pathology Group)  Clare’s diverse roles include NIHR BRC 3 Sub-Theme lead for multimodal pathology,  CM-Path Workstream 4 Lead (Technology and Informatics), RCPath Thames Valley Regional College Advisor and a member of the NCRI Teenagers and Young Adults and Testis Clinical Studies Group.

    She is also Chair of the Oxford Digital Pathology Academic Forum – an academic group including pathologists, engineers and statisticians from which several novel collaborations have been developed and Chair of the Oxford Digital Pathology Working Group, which is an operational group, setting and implementing strategy around digital pathology and image analysis.

    Clare is co-lead for the Testis GeCIP (Clinical Interpretation Partnership) as part of the 100,000 Genomes Project and lead pathologist for a number of multisite clinical trials, including “PART – Partial Prostate Ablation Versus Radical Prostatectomy in Intermediate Risk Unilateral Clinically Localized Prostate Cancer” (PI Freddie Hamdy). 

  • Dr Nick West

    Nick West is a senior lecturer and honorary consultant in gastrointestinal and molecular pathology at the University of Leeds and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. He sits on the NCRI Colorectal Clinical Studies Group and the trial management groups of eleven national and international bowel cancer trials.

  • Dr Dennis Zhang

    Dr Yu Zhi Zhang (Dennis) is currently an NIHR Clinical Research Fellow and PhD candidate based at National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London. He was previously a Histopathology registrar and was trained at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust before undertaking an out-of-programme period for research. He joined CM-Path (Clinical Trials Workstream) in 2017 as a trainee member.

Registration fees

RCPath Members: £194.00

Concessions: £104.00

Non RCPath Members: £270.00