School of Medicine, Faculty of Health & Medical Science
Expertise: Pathology, Histology, Cancer and cancer related biomarkers, Translational biomarker research
For Professor Rhodes, looking at cancer cells down the microscope is what sparks the passion in his research interest. To him, they are fascinating in such a way that they can appear beautiful, ugly and crazy all at the same time.
With an extensive area of expertise, Professor Rhodes holds dear to Histopathology and Microscopy; Histopathology is a very hands on science and you have to approach it as you would a handicraft if you wish to be good at it. Microscopy opens up another world and a completely new way of viewing life, which does not exist to the naked eye. Besides that, his main research interest is in some of the most common cancers to include those of the breast, prostate and clonal. Currently Professor Rhodes is working on a molecular classification of Malaysian colorectal cancers. In addition to that, he is exploring how the gut microbiome (microflora) plays a role in both preventing and promoting cancer.
With his extensive history in creating impactful research, Professor Rhodes hopes that his research would benefit society. He quoted; ‘We already know what causes cancer, it’s the crazy looking tumour cell staring at me when I look down the microscope. What we don’t know, are all the events occurring at a molecular level, in order for it to change from a healthy cell into a cancerous one where it impacts on the health of a human being. If we thoroughly understood these events then we are in a position to prevent them from happening, either through life-style or through clinical intervention.’ Basically, he believes that the most important focus should be on preventing cancer from becoming clinically relevant in an individual’s lifetime.
Professor Rhodes is currently a Professor at the Faculty of Health & Medical Sciences at Taylor’s University. Beforehand, he was a Professor in the Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, at the University Malaya and still holds an honorary chair there. He began his academic career in 2003 as a Senior Lecturer in Cellular Pathology at the University of the West of England, Bristol, UK. Prior to that, Professor Rhodes was a biomedical scientist from the years 1984-2003, working at; The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, St Thomas’s Hospital, Hammersmith Hospital London, and finally as Senior Chief Biomedical Scientist in the Department of Anatomic Pathology at the University College London Medical School. He is a Fellow of both the UK Institute of Biomedical Sciences and the Royal College of Pathologists.
Professor Rhodes previous publications on prognostic and predictive biomarkers in breast cancer contributed to the evidence base for a range of national and international breast cancer guidelines of the UK NHS, The American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO), the College of American Pathologists (CAP), the Malaysian College of Surgeons and the Malaysian College of Pathologists. He has served on expert panels for all these organisations in addition, to the US National Cancer Institute (NCI), US National Institute for Standards (NIST), and the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC). In 2007, he acted as expert witness to the events leading to The Cameron Inquiry (The Canadian Government Commission of Inquiry on Receptor Testing in Breast Cancer). Professor Rhodes work has been cited over 4,400 times in ISI publications.
With Professor Rhodes wide-ranging expertise throughout his career and research developments, he hopes to create a more driven and positive research culture in Taylor’s.
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