Clinical Surgery

Rachel Guest

Rachel is a Clinical Lecturer and Honorary Specialist Registrar in General Surgery at the University of Edinburgh. Having completed her undergraduate training at Imperial College London, Rachel moved to the Edinburgh postgraduate foundation programme and was appointed to specialty training in General Surgery in 2008.

Rachel Guest

Clinical Lecturer and Honorary Specialist Registrar

  • The University of Edinburgh

Contact details

Appointments and Activities

Rachel has developed a strong clinical interest in hepatobiliary cancers and in 2011 undertook a PhD in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine to better understand how the molecular signals orchestrating liver regeneration after injury can go awry and result in malignancy.  She was awarded a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellowship and developed a project supervised by Professor Stuart Forbes of the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, and Professor Owen Sansom of the Beatson Institute Glasgow, to investigate the role played by the Notch signalling pathway in bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma).  She developed a novel model of cholangiocarcinoma and used fluorescently-tagged bile duct cells to prove the cell of origin of the cancer, as well as demonstrating one component of the Notch pathway, the Notch 3 receptor to be an independent driver of tumour formation.

In 2015 she was appointed as a Clinical Lecturer in General Surgery and is now working on new projects to improve our molecular understanding of the development of cancer arising from the chronic biliary disease Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, supervised by Professor Stephen Wigmore.  She collaborates closely with Dr Luke Boulter of the Institute of Genetics & Molecular Medicine, Edinburgh and they are working to further build on the hepatobiliary cancer research programme in Edinburgh. 

Awards and Distinctions

  • The Syme medal, Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh 2015
  • Academy of Medical Sciences Spring Meeting Oral Plenary Prize (Royal College of Physicians London) 2014
  • Finalist The Professor Sir Ian Wilmut Prize, MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine 2014
  • Participant of the 64th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting for Physiology & Medicine 2014
  • The Chiene medal, University of Edinburgh 2013
  • EASL (European Association for the Study of the Liver) Young Investigator Award 2012
  • Annual Scottish Vascular Registrar’s meeting Prize 2007
  • Imperial College School of Medicine Elective Prize 2006
  • National Birthday Trust Fund Elective Bursary (RCOG, Wellbeing for Women Research) 2005
  • Goldberg-Sachmann Memorial Prize for distinction in Intercalated BSc, Imperial College 2004


  • PhD Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh 2015
  • Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Training Fellowship 2012
  • Member of the Royal College Surgeons Edinburgh 2009
  • Diploma of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene 2008
  • Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery (with honours)  Imperial College 2006
  • Bachelor of Sciences(Medical Sciences with Neuroscience) (First class)  Imperial College 2004


  • PSC Support
  • AMMF (The Cholangiocarcinoma charity)
  • Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh
  • The Wellcome Trust


Understanding liver regeneration to bring new insights to the mechanisms driving cholangiocarcinoma

Guest RV, Boulter L, Dwyer BJ, Forbes SJ

Npj Regenerative Medicine. 2017 May 2 (13): doi:10.1038/s41536-017-0018-z


Notch3 drives development & progression of cholangiocarcinoma

RV Guest, L Boulter, TJ Kendall, W-Y Lu, AJ Robson, M Komuta, JP Morten, A McKinnon, D Wotjacha, SE Minnis-Lyons, T Roskams, SJ Wigmore, OJ Sansom, SJ Forbes

PNAS. 2016 Oct 25;113(43):12250-12255. PMID:27791012


Cell lineage tracing reveals a biliary origin of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma

RV Guest, L Boulter, TJ Kendall, SE Minnis-Lyons, R Walker, SJ Wigmore, OJ Sansom, SJ Forbes

Cancer Research. 2014 Feb 15;74(4):1005-10. PMID:24310400


WNT signaling drives cholangiocarcinoma growth and can be pharmacologically inhibited

Boulter L, Guest RV, Kendall TJ, Wilson DH, Wojtacha D, Robson AJ, Ridgway RA, Samuel K, Van Rooijen N, Barry ST, Wigmore SJ, Sansom OJ, Forbes SJ

J Clin Invest. 2015 Mar 2;125(3):1269-85. PMID:25689248


Hepatic progenitor cells of biliary origin with liver repopulation capacity

Lu W-Y, Bird TG, Boulter L, Tsuchiya A, Cole A, Hay T, Guest RV, Wojtacha D, Man T-Y, Mackinnon A, Ridgway R, Kendall TJ, Williams W, Jamieson T, Raven A, Hay D, Iredale JP, Clarke A, Sansom OJ, Forbes SJ

Nature Cell Biology. 2015 Aug;17(8):971-83. doi: 10.1038/ncb3203.


PolySia-NCAM modulates the formation of ductular reactions in liver injury.

Tsuchiya A, Lu WY, Weinhold B, Boulter L, Stutchfield BM, Williams MJ, Guest RV, Minnis-Lyons SE, Mackinnon AC, Schwarzer D, Ichida T, Nomoto M, Aoyagi Y, Gerardy-Schahn R, Forbes SJ.

Hepatology. 2014 Feb 28. PMID:24585441


Govert Bidloo’s Liver: Human Symmetry reflected

RV Guest, D Marcogsy, SJ Wigmore

Lancet. 2014 Feb 22;383(9918):688-9 PMID:24567974