Professor Bob Steele

Senior Research Fellow

Population Health and Genomics, School of Medicine

Portrait photo of Bob Steele
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Jacqui Wood Cancer Centre


Professor Bob Steele obtained his initial surgical and academic training in Edinburgh, Hong Kong and Aberdeen and was appointed as Senior Lecturer in Surgery at the University of Nottingham in 1990.  He was then appointed Professor of Surgical Oncology at the University of Dundee in 1996 and as Professor of Surgery and Head of Academic Surgery in 2003.  His main interests are the treatment of and screening for colorectal cancer. Having led the UK demonstration pilot that was used to inform the decision to introduce national screening programmes throughout the United Kingdom, he is at present the Clinical Director of the Scottish Colorectal Cancer Screening Programme, and has published extensively in this area. He has chaired several NHS QIS and HIS groups related to colorectal cancer and colorectal cancer screening and he chaired the SIGN group that developed the latest set of colorectal cancer guidelines.  He is a past member of Council of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, past Chair of the Health Improvement, Protection and Services (HIPS) Research Committee of the Scottish Government’s Chief Scientist’s Office, and past President of the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland. He is currently Editor of “The Surgeon”, co-founder and co-director of the Scottish Cancer Prevention Network and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Scottish Cancer Foundation. In 2016, he was appointed as Independent Chair of the UK National Screening Committee. In 2017 he was awarded an Honorary Membership of the Faculty of Public Health and was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 2018 he was elected to Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences and was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.


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The award-winning Scottish Cancer Prevention Network, co-founded by Professor Annie Anderson and Professor Bob Steele, is built on decades of clinical experience and research in cancer care and facilitating healthier lifestyle choices

Published on 25 November 2019

Bob Steele cover May2019

Press Release

When working as a senior NHS registrar in the late 1980s Professor Bob Steele was struck by how many of the patients with bowel cancer died. Then he moved to Nottingham, where trials of bowel cancer screening were happening.

Published on 16 May 2019