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Toral Gathani - Royal College of Surgeons

Toral Gathani has been awarded a prestigious Hunterian Professorship (2022) by the Royal College of Surgeons of England. The award recognises her work on ethnicity and breast cancer.

Named after the pioneering surgeon and scientist John Hunter and dating back over two centuries, the Hunterian Professorship is among the most highly-regarded annual awards in the field of surgery. The awards recognise significant contributions to surgical, aesthetic, or dental science; the work of candidates is carefully considered by an expert committee and selections are made in stiff competition.

Toral is a Senior Clinical Research Fellow in Oxford Population Health’s Cancer Epidemiology Unit (CEU) and Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Her main research interests are in the intersection of ethnicity and breast cancer in women in the UK, and breast cancer as a global health challenge.

She joined CEU in 2003 where she undertook the research for her MD thesis. She continued to develop her interest in epidemiology during her specialist surgical training and has spent time working in India in a research and clinical capacity. She is a past recipient of a British Medical Association Humanitarian Award for public health related work in Assam, India. 

Hunterian Professors are invited to give an annual Hunterian Lecture on their field of specialism and chosen research. The courtesy title of Professor is accorded to Hunterian Lecturers for the duration of the year in which their lecture is delivered. Toral will deliver her Hunterian lecture entitled “Ethnicity and Breast Cancer in the UK” at the Association of Breast Surgery Conference in May.

Since 1810, some of the most famous names in British surgery have given a Hunterian Lecture including Abernethy, Brodie, Treves, Spencer Wells, Bland Sutton, Trotter, James Paget, John Percival Pott, Moynihan, and Ara Darzi.

Toral said ‘It is a real honour to be awarded the prestigious title of Hunterian Professor 2022 and I am delighted that the importance of this research has been recognised by the Royal College of Surgeons. I am immensely grateful to my colleagues who have collaborated with me over many years and for their continued support and encouragement. I am looking forward to delivering my lecture later this year and to being part of one of the proudest traditions of UK surgery.’