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Oxford University's Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences (NDS) has appointed Mr Simon Buczacki as its first Richard Blackwell Pharsalia Professor of Colorectal Surgery.

Simon Buczacki in the lab

Mr Buczacki, who joins from the University of Cambridge where he is currently an academic consultant colorectal surgeon at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, will take up the post on 2 November 2020. He will be a fellow of Linacre College.

The new professorship has been made possible thanks to the generous support of the Pharsalia Charitable Trust. The chair has been supported by Nigel Blackwell, Senior Trustee of the Pharsalia Charitable Trust, and has been named after his father, Richard Blackwell.

Mr Buczacki's clinical practice focusses on laparoscopic colorectal cancer surgery and he also leads for small intestinal neuroendocrine tumour surgery. He currently leads the Aero-Digestive Cancer Programme for the Cambridge Cancer Centre and is a Group Leader at the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute. In addition, he currently holds a Cancer Research UK Advanced Clinician Scientist Fellowship, and is also Fellow and Director of Studies for medicine at Clare College.

I am very excited to be joining the NDS and look forward to improving the lives of patients with bowel disorders through addressing fundamental questions of basic biology - Simon Buczacki

“I am delighted and honoured to accept the Richard Blackwell Pharsalia Professorship of Colorectal Surgery. This position allows me to bring my research group into a thriving environment of cutting-edge basic and translational surgical research in Oxford," said Mr Buczacki. "My laboratory has strong interests in how intestinal cancers evolve and also how cells during bowel pathologies interact to generate the problems that patients suffer with. As a surgeon I actively involve my patients in our research and we frequently use surgical biopsies as a tool to help answer our scientific questions. I am very excited to be joining the NDS and look forward to improving the lives of patients with bowel disorders through addressing fundamental questions of basic biology.”

Professor Freddy Hamdy, NDS Head of Department, commented: "The addition of a statutory chair is a major benefit for Oxford owing to the University's existing excellence in surgical science and bio-engineering.

"Colorectal cancer is a curable cancer. That's one reason why the new chair is so exciting to us. We have long wanted it but lacked the resources. Simon Buczacki will be a leader developing a research group, a 'scientist surgeon' – another reason for encouragement because, traditionally, surgery and research have been separate endeavours."