Dundee has its finger on the beating pulse of pioneering health treatment

Dundee is internationally renowned for introducing laparoscopic surgery to the UK as well as being a leading centre in developing fields such as the management of cancer, medical genetics and robotic surgery.

Like the pioneering work led by Prof Sir Alfred Cuschieri in the development, execution and clinical evaluation of minimal access (or laparoscopic) surgery. Prof Sir Alfred Cuschieri came to Dundee in 1976, and his surgical techniques have since been adopted internationally.

In tackling cancer too, there has been significant development since the 1990s with Sir David Lane’s work on the p53 gene and Professor Bob Steele’s leadership of the national bowel cancer screening programme, which has reduced the number of deaths from the UK’s third most common cancer. Dundee researchers have also made great advances in the detection and treatment of kidney, bladder and prostate cancers.

The Clinical Research Centre at Ninewells Hospital – one of the largest teaching hospitals in Europe - is a hub for clinical trial activity, in key research areas like cancer and cardiovascular disease. The centre is internationally acclaimed for work in diabetes research, conducting large-scale population studies and using this data to deliver better health outcomes.

The Tayside gynaecological cancer surgical team received the prestigious Cullen Award 2019 by the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh for achievements in pioneering the use of keyhole surgery for endometrial (womb) cancer for very overweight women who could not always be offered hysterectomies due to risks associated with surgery.

By investing in training, equipment and team working, the gynaecological cancer team now offers keyhole surgery to women with a BMI up to 60 – and over 95% of hysterectomies for womb cancer are now done as keyhole procedures in NHS Tayside.

The James Hutton Institute, renowned for its knowledge of fruit growing, is investigating properties in those same fruits that may be able to treat a wide range of conditions – from reducing the effects of Alzheimer’s to tackling obesity.

Its scientists are also investigating how crops like oats and barley can have increased health benefits in diets through enhancing the levels of plant-based dietary fibre.