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I trained at University College London where I gained a first class degree and carried out my surgical training in the University of Leeds. I set up a clinical research project for my higher degree in Leeds and then moved to the Univeristy of Newcastle upon Tyne to train in Urological Surgery as a Clinical Lecturer, where I also worked with Professor Adrian Harris. I became Senior Lecturer and subsequently was appointed to the Chair of Surgery and Head of School, and then took up the position of Director of Research at the Medical School. In 2002 I was appointed to the Foundation Chair of Surgical Oncology at the University of Cambridge where I was a Senior Group Leader in the CRUK funded Cambridge Institute carrying out translational research into prostate cancer.

I have published over 490 peer-reviewed papers and my publications have an “H” index of >65 and have been cited over 14,500 times with an average 650 times per year. I have over 40 papers cited more than 100 times. Nine people I have trained have been appointed to Chairs of Urology or Surgery. 


  • British Association of Urological Surgeons
  • Royal College of Surgeons of England and Edinburgh
  • Academy of Medical Sciences
  • Royal Society of Biology
  • Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians
  • European Association of Urologists
  • American Urological Association
  • Corresponding Member of the American Association of Genito-Urinary Surgeons (1999 - present)
  • Urological Society of Australasia

David Neal


Professor of Surgical Oncology

I joined Oxford in August 2015 as Professor of Surgical Oncology.

At the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, my research focused on the molecular pathology of prostate cancer, particularly on how the androgen receptor interacts with the prostate cancer genome in order to identify potential biological targets and to stratify risk. I also am one of the Principal Investigators on the CRUK funded prostate cancer component of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC). This latter research is uncovering novel insights about the development of prostate cancer and how it metastases.

From 2002 to 2014, I worked at the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust where I re-developed the clinical department and ensured its position as the Regional Uro-Oncology Centre. In 2005, I introduced robotic prostatectomy and led the regional service for retro-peritoneal node dissections for testis cancer.

The da Vinci surgical robot has revolutionised prostate surgery enabling surgeons to carry out minimally invasive surgery with greater precision. The method reduces blood loss and other complications associated with traditional open surgery, allowing men to go home sooner. Over 1,500 men have been treated at the Cambridge Centre with excellent published outcomes.

I am excited about the prospects of continuing the translational work that I have been doing on prostate cancer, particularly using the large bio-repository from ProtecT and ProMPT. Collaboration with colleagues here in Oxford will add real value to the links we already have established to better study this disease.

In 2014, I also moved to a brand new global role in Elsevier as their Senior Vice President of Research where I am helping them develop new informatics solutions for researchers.


  • CBE for services to surgery in The Queen's 2014 New Year's Honours List
  • Member of the King's Fund Management Committee (1996 - 2002) and the General Council (2002 - present)
  • Victor Horsley (2009), Moynihan (2010) and Zachary Cope Lecturer (2011)
  • Senior Investigator of the NIHR (2008)
  • Elected to the Council of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (2002 – 2008)
  • Elected to Council of Academy of Medical Sciences (2006)
  • St Peter's Medal, BAUS, 2001
  • Chairman of the SAC in Urology, 1998 – 2001
  • Founding Fellow, The Academy of Medical Sciences, 1998

Recent Publications 2020/21

Men's experiences of radiotherapy treatment for localized prostate cancer and its long-term treatment side effects: a longitudinal qualitative study.  Sutton E. et al, Cancer causes & control: CCC. 2021;32(3):261-9.

KLK3 SNP-SNP interactions for prediction of prostate cancer aggressiveness. Lin HY. et al, Sci Rep. 2021;11(1):9264.

Additional SNPs improve risk stratification of a polygenic hazard score for prostate cancer. Karunamuni RA. et al, Prostate cancer and prostatic diseases. 2021.

African-specific improvement of a polygenic hazard score for age at diagnosis of prostate cancer. Karunamuni RA. et al, International journal of cancer Journal international du cancer. 2021;148(1):99-105.

Rare Germline Variants in ATM Predispose to Prostate Cancer: A PRACTICAL Consortium Study. Karlsson Q. et al, Eur Urol Oncol. 2021.

Polygenic hazard score is associated with prostate cancer in multi-ethnic populations. Huynh-Le MP.  et al, Nature communications. 2021;12(1):1236.

Identification of a serum biomarker signature associated with metastatic prostate cancer. Kuci Emruli V. et al, Proteomics Clin Appl. 2021:e2000025.

Trans-ancestry genome-wide association meta-analysis of prostate cancer identifies new susceptibility loci and informs genetic risk prediction. Conti DV. et al, Nature genetics. 2021;53(1):65-75.

Publisher Correction: Trans-ancestry genome-wide association meta-analysis of prostate cancer identifies new susceptibility loci and informs genetic risk prediction. Conti DV. et al, Nature genetics. 2021;53(3):413.

An integrative multi-omics analysis to identify candidate DNA methylation biomarkers related to prostate cancer risk. Wu L. et al, Nature communications. 2020;11(1):3905.

Strategies adopted by men to deal with uncertainty and anxiety when following an active surveillance/monitoring protocol for localised prostate cancer and implications for care: a longitudinal qualitative study embedded within the ProtecT trial. Wade J. et al, BMJ open. 2020;10(9):e036024.

Independence of HIF1a and androgen signaling pathways in prostate cancer. Tran MGB. et al, BMC cancer. 2020;20(1):469.

Modelling the lifetime cost-effectiveness of radical prostatectomy, radiotherapy and active monitoring for men with clinically localised prostate cancer from median 10-year outcomes in the ProtecT randomised trial. Sanghera S. et al, BMC cancer. 2020;20(1):971. 

The ProtecT randomised trial cost-effectiveness analysis comparing active monitoring, surgery, or radiotherapy for prostate cancer. Noble SM. et al, Br J Cancer. 2020;123(7):1063-70.

Erratum to 'Ten-year Mortality, Disease Progression, and Treatment-related Side Effects in Men with Localised Prostate Cancer from the ProtecT Randomised Controlled Trial According to Treatment Received' [European Urology 77 (2020) 320-330]. Neal DE. et al, European urology. 2020;78(3):e139-e43.

Ten-year Mortality, Disease Progression, and Treatment-related Side Effects in Men with Localised Prostate Cancer from the ProtecT Randomised Controlled Trial According to Treatment Received. Neal DE. et al, European urology. 2020;77(3):320-30.

Sex differences in oncogenic mutational processes. Li CH. et al, Nature communications. 2020;11(1):4330.

The effect of sample size on polygenic hazard models for prostate cancer. Karunamuni RA. et al, Eur J Hum Genet. 2020;28(10):1467-75.

A Genetic Risk Score to Personalize Prostate Cancer Screening, Applied to Population Data. Huynh-Le MP. et al, Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention: a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology. 2020;29(9):1731-8.

Genomic analysis of male puberty timing highlights shared genetic basis with hair colour and lifespan. Hollis B. et al, Nature communications. 2020;11(1):1536.

Systematic review and meta-analysis of the associations between body mass index, prostate cancer, advanced prostate cancer, and prostate-specific antigen. Harrison S. et al, Cancer causes & control: CCC. 2020;31(5):431-49.

Active monitoring, radical prostatectomy and radical radiotherapy in PSA-detected clinically localised prostate cancer: the ProtecT three-arm RCT. Hamdy FC. et al, Health Technol Assess. 2020;24(37):1-176.

Author Correction: The evolutionary history of lethal metastatic prostate cancer. Gundem G. et al, Nature. 2020;584(7820):E18. 

Pan-cancer analysis of whole genomes. Consortium ITP-CAoWG. Nature. 2020;578(7793):82-93.

The ProtecT trial: analysis of the patient cohort, baseline risk stratification and disease progression. Bryant RJ. et al, BJU international. 2020;125(4):506-14.

The CHEK2 Variant C.349A>G Is Associated with Prostate Cancer Risk and Carriers Share a Common Ancestor. Brandao A. et al, Cancers (Basel). 2020;12(11).

Author Correction: Retrospective evaluation of whole exome and genome mutation calls in 746 cancer samples. Bailey MH. et al, Nature communications. 2020;11(1):6232.

Retrospective evaluation of whole exome and genome mutation calls in 746 cancer samples. Bailey MH. et al, Nature communications. 2020;11(1):4748.

Top publications

Epidermal growth factor receptors are present in human bladder cancer: a comparison of invasive and superficial tumours.

Neal D. E., Marsh C., Bennett M. K., Abel P. D., Hall R. R., Sainsbury J. R. C., and Harris A. L. Lancet. 1985; i: 366-368. (cited ~ 595 times)

Identification of multiple novel prostate cancer susceptibility loci by a genome-wide association study.

Eeles RA, Kote-Jarai Z*, GilesG. G*., et al; and Neal DE*, Easton DF * these authors contributed equally. Nature Genetics. 2008, 40: 316-21. (cited ~769 times)

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