Infection Medicine

Professor Heather Cubie

Division of Infection and Pathway Medicine

Professor Heather Cubie MBE BSc, MSc, PhD, FRCPath, FRSE

Senior Advisor, Global Health Academy, Honorary Fellow DIPM

  • University of Edinburgh
  • Ground Floor – Doorway 3, Teviot Quad, Teviot Place
  • Edinburgh EH8 9AG

Contact details

Heather Cubie is a Consultant Clinical Scientist with an Honorary Chair in the University of Edinburgh College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. She was  the first Director of the National HPV Reference Laboratory in the Specialist Virology Centre in Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh until 2012 and lead of the  HPV Research Group  based in the University  of Edinburgh until 2014. She was previously R&D Director for NHS Lothian for 12 years where her mission was to ensure a supportive culture for research within our publicly funded National Health Service and facilitation of appropriate applied research activity in collaboration with a wide range of academic staff.  As Head of Service for training of Clinical Scientists in Microbiology for Scotland from 1994-2012, she actively pursued career development structures for the wider professional group of Healthcare Scientists and opportunities for collaborative research across disciplines and professions. She was awarded an MBE for her contribution to healthcare science in Scotland in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2012 and made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in the same year.

Her HPV expertise and publications span more than 40 years and relate particularly to translational HPV research for cervical disease and cancer. She has developed and used a number of HPV detection and genotyping systems and  worked on validation and quality assurance as a crucial part of  clinical HPV testing. Current interests include the impact of HPV vaccine and of health services for cervical cancer prevention, complemented by the establishment of the Scottish HPV Archive and the Scottish HPV Investigators’ network (SHINe). She is currently helping to establish a cervical cancer screening programme in Nkhoma, Malawi using VIA (visual inspection with acetic acid) and HPV testing.

She and Dr Christine Campbell, Centre for Population Health Sciences, co-lead  a Scottish Government funded programme (MW01)  to establish  cervical cancer screening and treatment in a 'see and treat' service  in Nkhoma, Central Malawi. More information can be found on the Global Health Academy website

With Professor Sarah Howie of CIR, she is active in public engagement events including the QMRI  series "let's talk about it understanding disease" and the Beltane Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas 2015 events during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

MAJOR GRANTS (from 2004)

2004          Health Technology Assessment, £1,302,772 over 4 years to carry outA comparison of automated technology and manual  cervical screening’  with Professor HC Kitchener (Lead, University of Manchester)

2005          Glaxo Smith Kline, £156,000 over 2.5 years for a study entitled ‘Immune Responses to human papillomavirus antigens in patients with low grade cervical dyskaryosis’, (local PI:Cubie)

2006          Chief Scientist Office, £47,662 over 1 year. ‘Distribution of HPV types associated with anogenital cancers in Scotland and implications for the potential impact of new HPV vaccines’  (CI: Cubie)

2007          Health Protection Scotland, £135,000 over 18 months to develop an HPV test suitable for use on urine samples and to provide baseline surveillance data on prevalence of HPV types in teenagers in Scotland. (CI: Cubie)

2007        NHS Executive National Screening Committee,  £42,848 over 6 months to study the storage and transport of LBC samples for HPV testing in a hub and spokes testing model( CI: Cubie)

2007         National AIDS and Viral Hepatitis Agency, France (ANRS) £174,000 over 5 years.  A long-term follow-up study of HPV infection in HIV infected French women. With Dr Isabelle Heard (lead)

2008    CSO, £518,000 over 5 years; Scottish Cervical Cancer Prevention Programme: Establishing an HPV Clinical Research Centre for long-term follow-up of HPV infection and associated disease in a vaccination era, through the creation of a population based sample archive. (CI: Cubie).

2008         CSO, £497,000  over 5 years ; Scottish Cervical Cancer Prevention Programme:  Assessing and modelling the impact of HPV 16/18 immunisation on the performance of current cervical screening performance and the effectiveness of alternative cervical screening strategies to optimise cancer prevention in the HPV immunisation era. (CI: M Cruickshank, University of Aberdeen)

2008          CSO; £70,000  over 1 year Detecting high risk HPV late mRNAs in liquid based cytology samples from patients with cervical lesions for development of new diagnostic procedures. (CI: S Graham, University of Glasgow)

2009       GSK: £169,000 over 2 years; educational grant to establish a Scottish HPV Archive for long-term follow-up of HPV infection and disease in women attending cervical screening in the era of HPV vaccination. (CI: Cubie)

2010        CSO: £210,818 over 2 years.  Cervical HPV infection in vaccinated and unvaccinated women– new markers of infection, immunity and disease. CI: S Howie, University of Edinburgh)

2012        CSO: £215,166 over 18 months. HPV oral prevalence in Scotland (HOPSCOTCH) feasibility study (CI: D Conway, University of Glasgow)  

2013      Scottish Government Malawi Development fund: £399,399 over 3 years. Developing a sustainable programme of cervical screening using VIA  (visual inspection with acetic acid) and HPV (human papillomavirus) testing in rural Malawi. (Joint CIs: Cubie & Campbell)

2014     CSO: £280,985 over 2 years. ETM/329. Development of an objective laboratory triage test for HPV infected women with clinically significant cervical disease (CI: S Howie)

 Edinburgh Research Explorer Publication List