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Richard Colling


Senior Clinical Research Fellow

  • Chief Investigator for the Oxford Radcliffe Biobank (ORB)
  • Head of the Oxford Centre for Histopathology Research (OCHRe)
  • Consultant in Cellular Pathology (OUH)



I am a pathologist and researcher in NDS and I work as an Honorary Consultant in Cellular Pathology (urological pathology) at Oxford University Hospitals NHS FT. My interests are in academic histopathology, Evidence-Based Medicine, and prostate cancer research. 

I am the CI of the Oxford Radcliffe Biobank (ORB) & Head of the Oxford Centre for Histopathology Research (OCHRe). These closely collaborating teams form a vital service that provides tumour biobanking, NHS archive tissue access, and governance oversight for numerous projects involving patient histopathology samples across the university, under the umbrella the ORB Research Tissue Bank generic REC approval.

RESEARCH overview

A main focus of my work is on Evidence-Based Pathology (EBP). I am leading Oxford's collaboration with IARC on the WCT EVI MAP Project (see below). 

Another key area of my work is in developing the use of digital pathology tools such as digital microscopy, whole slide imaging, image analysis, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, with the aim of improving pathology services for the NHS in Oxford. As such, I have been heavily involved in the recent PathLAKE Plus and ARTICULATE PRO projects (see below) and am now the Oxford lead for the NIHR COBIx project.

I also have a strong interest in molecular diagnostics, and am the lead pathologist for Oxford's collaboration with mdxhealth's prostate cancer GPS test.

I also collaborate closely with the Oxford Prostate Cancer Biology Group, am pathologist for the TRANSLATE clinical trial, and provide expert pathology support to many projects within the Medical Sciences Division. 



I am leading Oxford's work on the WCT EVI MAP Project, which is being run in partnership with the IC3R initiative. 

The WHO Classification of Tumours: a Living Evidence Gap Map by Tumour Type (WCT EVI MAP) Project aims to map and evaluate the evidence-base for the entire WHO Classification of Tumours (WCT; commonly known as the 'WHO blue books') - the fundamental framework used internationally as the basis for cancer diagnosis. We will be mapping the evidence to identify gaps and pockets of low quality data in the evidence base.

The EVI MAP project began in July 2022 with the initial focus being on developing a new tumour pathology specific hierarchy of evidence for use in the mapping process. At the end of the project we expect to have a living, updatable visual map of the evidence in the WCT. We are funded for four years by €3.5M EC Horizon and Innovate UK (UKRI) grants.   


IC3R was established by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) at the World Health Organisation and aims to promote evidence-based practice and standards for cancer classification and research. IC3R will provide a forum to coordinate evidence generation, synthesis, evaluation, and standard-setting for tumour classification worldwide. There are a number of active projects co-ordinated by the collaboration, including WCT EVI MAP, and Oxford is an associate member of the group. 


ARTICULATE PRO is a two-year project, funded by the Accelerative Access Collaborative and NHSx through a Phase 4 AI in Health and Care Award. The project officially began on 1 September 2021. Our remit is to investigate the deployment of AI (computer assisted technology) in the prostate cancer pathway by using Paige Prostate to assist pathologists when reading prostate biopsies. The study is now drawing to a close and the work will be published later this year (2024). 

Teaching and training

I teach undergraduate pathology to Oxford medical students on the NDCLS Laboratory Medicine Course. I am also heavily involved in histopathology training of junior doctors in Oxford and lead on ST1 training in urological pathology. I am also an Educational Supervisor for HEETV.

Key publications

More publications