Bulletin January 2023 Number 201

In this article, Professor Sarah Coupland and Timuchin Dindjer reflect on the successes of the College throughout our 60th anniversary celebrations in 2022.

2022 was a big year for the College, offering us the opportunity to highlight the vital role that pathology, pathologists and clinical scientists play in human and animal health as part of our 60th anniversary celebrations.

Throughout 2022, we delivered a programme of diverse public engagement events, activities and podcast series, for members and the public. Some of the highlights included: virtual cycle, run and walking challenges; a classical concert in Liverpool; named lectures covering a broad range of pathology topics in all nations; a UK tour of Suzy Lishman’s ‘Living Autopsy’ lecture; a public outreach event in Welsh at the National Eisteddfod; a fun walk along the Wales coastal path; and a Pet Portrait Photo Competition.

These were all in addition to the College’s usual events – book clubs, and essay, science communication and art competitions – all branded under the main theme of the year ‘Pathology at the heart of your health’.

Members were encouraged to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee with their own events and the College provided activity ideas, materials and resources on the website and via the Public Engagement team.

Three students writing on worksheets.
Students taking part in activities during the College Open Day.

Cycle rides and walks

To kick off the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the College organised three three-month virtual challenges, which started in March. These events offered a great way for members and friends to fulfil their New Year’s resolutions to keep fit and to take part in the Diamond Jubilee, from their own home. They also provided a good opportunity to train for the actual bespoke Land's End to John O’Groats cycling challenge that took place in September.

Led by the College’s Vice President for Communication, Professor Sarah Coupland, College members Rachel Brown, Aditya Shivane and Martin Gill, cycled across the UK from Land's End to John O’Groats as part of a group with 20 other enthusiasts in aid of Cancer Research UK (CRUK). Teaming up with Cycle Retreats and CRUK, the riders raised awareness of the role of pathologists in cancer diagnostics and patient care. They also raised funds for CRUK to support research done by pathologists, oncologists and scientists to discover new therapies in treating numerous different cancer types. On 16 November Professor Sarah Coupland was joined by the College President Professor Mike Osborn and they were delighted to officially hand over a cheque to the CEO of CRUK, Michelle Mitchell OBE, for £35,741.00, all raised by the cycling challenge.

The Wales Coastal Path Walk took place in July and was led by the Chair of the College’s Wales Regional Council Dr Jonathan Kell who invited College members to take part in sections of the walk. It started at Barry Island and continued via Sully and Penarth Pier to the finish at the Senedd. The Mayor of Penarth, Cllr Laura Rochefort, and Professor Mike Osborn joined the team between Penarth and Cardiff Bay to celebrate.

Dr James Davies MP (Conservative, Vale of Clwyd) also took part in the walk from Prestatyn to Rhyl along with a group from the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, organised by Dr Anu Gunavardhan, a Wales Regional Council member.

Classical concert at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

On 28 May a special classical music concert took place at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall to mark our Diamond Jubilee. It was conducted by Chief Conductor, Domingo Hindoyan, and the programme included Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto, played sensationally on the piano by Sergei Babayan. Three sets of two tickets were made available in a free draw for College members. The event was attended by Professor Mike Osborn and Professor Sarah Coupland, as well as our winners Dr Rachel Taggart, Dr Preethi Joseph and Dr Lisa Robinson.

National Pathology Week 2022

Last year National Pathology Week (NPW) moved from its usual November date to 20–26 June to coincide with the official 60th anniversary of the College – 21 June. Going forward, NPW will continue to be organised in June.

For NPW 2022, College-led events included a panel discussion – ‘Pathology: past, present and future’ – which was introduced by Professor Mike Osborn and chaired by past President Dr Suzy Lishman CBE. Panellists discussed the history of pathology and the College, key milestones for pathology, current practices and hot topics, and future advancements. In addition to the College running events during the week, we encouraged members, pathologists and supporters to run their own events in their local area using our range of materials.

Named lectures

Over 2022, many of the College’s named lectures were held in celebration of the Diamond Jubilee. The first Diamond Jubilee lecture to be delivered was the Sir John Dacie Lecture at the British Society for Haematology annual scientific conference by Dr Wai Keong Wong. The lecture discussed informatics and artificial intelligence and how they might affect future practice. He was introduced by College Registrar, Dr Lance Sandle, who was also interviewed afterwards about his career in pathology by haematology trainee Henry Wood.

The Foundation Lecture was live-streamed on Tuesday 21 June 2022 and delivered by College Fellow, and former Deputy Chief Medical Officer of England, Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam. He talked about lessons learnt during the COVID-19 pandemic, detailing his contribution to the UK Vaccine Taskforce and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and touching on what it was like to be in the eye of such a media maelstrom. Professor Van-Tam took questions from the audience following his presentation. The recording is available on the College website.

The final named lecture of the year was the Professor Freddie Flynn lecture, which was delivered at the College’s Scotland 60th Anniversary Symposium: What has pathology ever done for us?. The lecture focused on cardiac biomarkers and the transformation of acute cardiac care and was delivered by Professor Nick Mills.

In addition to the named lectures, the College also hosted other lectures celebrating pathology and pathologists. Dr Meena Upadhyaya OBE gave a lecture at the Senedd in June, talking about the challenges she has faced in her career, coming from a minority background, and described some of the advances made in the fields of genetics over her career. It was a truly inspiring, challenging and humbling talk celebrating 60 years of the College. Special thanks to Vaughan Gething MS who sponsored the lecture and gave his support enthusiastically in person at the event.

Professor Roberto La Ragione, Chair of the College’s Veterinary Pathology Specialty Advisory Committee, delivered his Diamond Jubilee guest lecture on ‘Zoonoses: a global One Health issue’ at Swansea University as part of the Microbiology Society’s 'What's new in Cryptosporidium?' meeting. Professor La Ragione’s lecture highlighted the growing threat of zoonotic pathogens and the impact that climate change and intensive farming are having on transmission.

Professor Angharad Davies, College Vice President for Learning, organised a lecture addressing antimicrobial resistance at the Federation of Infection Societies Conference, London, on 22 September. It was given by Professor Dame Sally Davies and was very well received.

Finally, the Patel lecture, established in memory of Dr Neera Patel, a cellular pathologist specialising in breast pathology, will be given at the Pathological Society’s winter meeting in February 2023. The nominated lecturer is Professor Val Speirs who is Professor of Molecular Oncology at the University of Aberdeen.

Our named lecture series was kindly sponsored by Aiforia Technologies.

Open Day

The College’s Open Day was a resounding success with 65 secondary school students taking part in member-led activities at Alie Street. The purpose of the Open Day was to use our 60th anniversary to inspire and inform local young people about pathology and pathology careers. It provided a great opportunity for College members to communicate to young people their work and its importance to health.

The proceedings of the Open Day started with the arrival of Her Royal Highness, Birgitte Eva van Deurs Henriksen, Duchess of Gloucester, and Mr Leslie Morgan, OBE Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Tower Hamlets. The Duchess unveiled a plaque to commemorate the College’s 60th anniversary, before meeting pupils and their teachers and attending the ‘Living Autopsy’ session with Dr Suzy Lishman.

Her Royal Highness, Birgitte Eva van Deurs Henriksen, Duchess of Gloucester, with the College members and staff.
Her Royal Highness, Birgitte Eva van Deurs Henriksen, Duchess of Gloucester, visited the College on our Open Day.

Throughout the afternoon interactive activities were run by members from different specialties, including haematology, chemical pathology, histocompatibility and immunogenetics, and veterinary pathology. The activities included everything from interactive quizzes, role play and microscopy to art and science.

The College Open Day was kindly sponsored by Sonic Healthcare UK, Aiforia, Sectra, Smart in Media, Agilent, the Pathological Society, 3D LifePrints and Lab Tests Online.

RCPath book club

Author Professor Heidi J Larson, our host Professor Angharad Davies and an expert panel discussed the key themes and ideas explored in Heidi's book, Stuck: How Vaccine Rumours Start – and Why They Don't Go Away. Stuck provides a clear-eyed examination of the social vectors that transmit vaccine rumours, their manifestations around the globe and how these individual threads are all connected.

The last book club of the year was held recently and addressed The Secret Body: How the New Science of the Human Body Is Changing the Way We Live by Professor Daniel M Davis.

All book club discussions from 2020 to 2022 have been recorded, and are available on the website for on-demand viewing.


Each year the College runs competitions for students, the public and pathologists and this year’s competitions were themed around the 60th anniversary. For the Paola Domizio Undergraduate Essay Prize and the Hugh Platt Foundation Essay Prize we asked applicants to discuss the impact of pathology over the last 60 years. The winning essays can be found on the website and on pages 785–788.

Our Art of Pathology Competition was hugely popular this year and we received over 100 entries across the different categories, with participants creatively interpreting the theme of ‘Pathology: past, present and future’. Find out more about the competition, kindly sponsored by Sonic Healthcare UK, and view the winners’ work on the website and on pages 782–784.


The College selected three schools in the North East of England in partnership with the Social Mobility Foundation and MELISSA bus to take part in Diamond Jubilee events. Our regional representative for the North of England, Dr Ali Robb, worked closely with the College and galvanised local pathologists to deliver engaging hands-on pathology sessions. The visits provided a taste of pathology to around 400 students, demonstrating the importance of pathology in all aspects of the patient journey and hopefully inspiring more people to consider careers in pathology and healthcare science.

The events were extremely well received by both students and staff, and by other visitors who were able to attend. For the final event, the Mayor of Darlington, Anne-Marie Curry, and the local MP, Peter Gibson, attended the successful MELISSA bus event at Queen Elizabeth’s Sixth Form.

The NHS MELISSA bus team in front of the blue MELISSA bus.
The NHS MELISSA bus visited schools in the North East of England.

Living autopsy tours

Suzy Lishman with the acting dead body.
Dr Suzy Lishman demonstrating an autopsy on her Living autopsy tour.

Conceived and created by consultant histopathologist Dr Suzy Lishman, these events have been central to our Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Dr Lishman’s tour included seven lectures across six locations in the UK and these were mostly delivered as a live audience-based lecture presented by Dr Lishman with a model playing a ‘dead body’. They took the audience through the process of a post-mortem examination, demonstrating the role of each instrument during the procedure. Her final event during 2022 took place on 17 November at George Marshall Medical Museum, Worcester.

Dr Suzy Lishman standing over an acting dead body with the audience looking on.
Dr Suzy Lishman demonstrating an autopsy on her Living autopsy tour.

The format of these lectures was also adapted by other pathologists and delivered across the UK to medical students and secondary schools. Sessions were run by our members and volunteers, including: Dr Oonagh King at the Northern Ireland Science Festival; Drs Yamini Krishna, Marie Brereton and Vijay Sharma at Birkenhead Sixth Form College; Dr Emyr W Benbow, delivered in Welsh, at the Eisteddfod; Dr Matt Cieka at the University of Liverpool; and Dr Natalie Meara in Chester.

Dr Matt Cieka in front of a presentation screen showing the Living Autopsy cover slide.
Dr Matt Cieka also gave a lecture on autopsies at the University of Liverpool.

The Living Autopsy series was sponsored by the Pathological Society.

Pathologists in Profile podcast series

To celebrate inspiring pathologists working across the 17 different specialties, the College launched its podcast series ‘Pathologists in Profile’. Each month a podcast guest speaks to Dr Natasha Cutmore – in part one, we explore their life and career and, in part two, we examine a case study chosen by our guest. The series was sponsored by Cirdan.

In our pilot episode, Dr Cutmore discovered more about Professor Coupland’s childhood in Australia, what inspired her to pursue medicine, and the challenges and successes throughout her training and career. In the second episode, Professor Coupland discussed an interesting case study. All episodes from across the year are available to listen to on the College website.

Special Bulletin issues

The four Bulletin issues of 2022 reflected the celebratory feel of the year, centring on the people and specialties of pathology and ending on our 200th issue. The profile articles highlighted the varied backgrounds and careers of pathologists and clinical scientists, and we were delighted to be able to include so many. The specialty-focused articles were an opportunity to look back at how the specialties evolved, the people who helped this to happen, achievements and future challenges. We are grateful to everyone who contributed, and all Bulletin issues are available on the website.

60 at 60 – People in pathology

As part of our celebrations, we wanted to shine a spotlight on the people who work tirelessly both in front of and behind the scenes across the different pathology specialties. We developed the 60 at 60 webpage to celebrate some of those people who have contributed in many different ways towards the delivery of high-quality services, research and innovation together with education and training. We will continue to add to this page throughout 2023.

Thank you

Finally, we would like to thank everyone who took part in the celebrations and made this such a memorable year. We would like to thank the College staff, who have gone to great efforts to make the Diamond Jubilee a success. We couldn’t have done it without you all!