Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre

Simon Herrington

Molecular Cancer Pathology

Professor Simon Herrington - Professor of Molecular Pathology of Cancer

Research in a Nutshell 

My main research focus is the pathogenesis of anogenital epithelial neoplasia and how improved understanding of the mechanisms involved can be used to improve disease diagnosis. This involves both analysis of the role of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in epithelial neoplasia, particularly of the female genital tract, and the development of optical imaging for the early detection of epithelial neoplasia. I have a long-standing optical imaging collaboration with the School of Physics and Astronomy in St Andrews, which focuses on technology that can discriminate between normal and neoplastic cells and tissues. I am part of the EPSRC and MRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Optical Imaging (OPTIMA), through which I have a collaboration with Strathclyde University, and I am also working with Edinburgh Medical Imaging. These collaborations all aim to develop novel optical approaches to cancer diagnosis. I am also part of the ovarian cancer research group (see Prof Charlie Gourley), with current projects including the molecular investigation of high-grade serous carcinoma of the ovary and the characterization of endometrioid ovarian carcinoma.



Simon Herrington

Principal Investigator and Professor of Molecular Pathology of Cancer

Lana Woolford PhD student
Barbara Stanley MD student (co-supervised with Charlie Gourley)
Robb Hollis PhD student (co-supervised with Charlie Gourley)



  • Professor Kishan Dholakia, Physics and Astronomy, University of St Andrews
  • Professor Duncan Graham, Chemistry, University of Strathclyde
  • Edinburgh Medical Imaging

Partners and Funders

  • Wellcome Trust ISSF2 award (£65K; 2016). Comparative pathology analysis of gene expression in animal and human tissues by high throughput in-situ hybridization (Co-investigator) (with M Arends, M Cheeseman)
  • Medical Research Scotland (£107,677; 2016-2020). Novel theranostic agents for enhanced diagnosis and minimally invasive therapy of cervical cancer (Co-supervisor) (with M Vendrell and Edinburgh Medical Imaging)
  • Medical Research Council (£2.1M; 2015 – 2018): Edinburgh – St. Andrews Consortium for Molecular Pathology, Informatics and Genome Science (Co-investigator and lead for Masters programme in Molecular Pathology) (with T Aitman (PI), D Harrison and others)

Scientific Themes

Cancer, gynaecology, ovary, cervix, optical imaging

Technology Expertise

Pathology, digital pathology, molecular investigation of human tissue