Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Surgery & Cancer








Mrs Elizabeth Coles +44 (0)20 7594 3350




505BNorfolk PlaceSt Mary's Campus





Qualification and Personal History

Moved to the St Mary’s Hospital Campus at Imperial College in 2008 to establish the Cancer Screening and Prevention Research Group (CSPRG).

Awarded honorary positions at Imperial College London: Senior Lecturer in 1997, Reader in 2000 and Professor of Gastrointestinal Epidemiology in 2004.

Joined the Cancer Research UK Colorectal Cancer Unit at St Mark’s Hospital, Harrow, in 1995 and became Deputy Director of the unit in 1997.

Awarded a PhD from University College London in 1991, for research on the long-term risk of colorectal cancer following adenoma removal.

Graduated from Columbia University, New York, in 1985 with a master’s degree in public health (MPH).


Main Research Interest

  • Prevention and early detection of colorectal cancer (CRC) in average and high-risk groups.
  • More research information is available at


Within Imperial College: 

  • Mr Omar Faiz, Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Colorectal Surgeon, Department of Surgery and Cancer (SIGGAR1, SOCCER)

Outside Imperial College:

Wendy is also involved in many research activities outside of Imperial College. She has collaborated with several research groups and organisations within the UK, Europe and the United States. Current collaborators include:

  • Professor Jane Wardle, Health Psychologist and Professor of Clinical Psychology, Health Behaviour Research Unit, UCL (FIT for Follow-Up, UKFSST, SIGGAR1)
  • Professor Steve Halligan, Consultant Radiologist and Professor of Gastrointestinal Radiology, Centre for Medical Imaging, UCLH (SIGGAR1)
  • Professor Rosaline Raine, Professor of Health Care evaluation, Department of Applied Health Research, UCL (The ASCEND Project)
  • Professor Stephen Halloran, Consultant Biochemist and Director of the BCSP Southern Hub of at the Royal Surrey County Hospital (FIT for Follow-Up)
  • Professor Julietta Patnick, Director of NHS Cancer Screening Programmes, and honorary professor, Oxford University (UKFSST)
  • Professor Stephen Duffy, Director of NHS Cancer Screening Policy Unit and Professor of Cancer and Statistics, Barts and London (The Intermediate Adenoma Study, UKFSST)
  • Dr Paul Tappenden, Health Economist, School of Health And Related Research (ScHARR), University of Sheffield (The Intermediate Adenoma Study)
  • Professor Richard Lilford, Clinical Epidemiologist, University of Birmingham (SIGGAR1)
  • Professor Elena Martinez, University of Arizona (The Intermediate Adenoma Study).

Membership of Professional Bodies

  • Member of the British Society of Gastroenterology.
  • Expert advisor on the NICE Guideline Development Group for Colonoscopic Surveillance, helping to develop EU guidelines relating to quality assurance in colorectal screening and diagnosis. She is the lead author of a chapter on colonoscopy surveillance following detection of adenomas at screening, in the European Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Colorectal Cancer Screening and Diagnosis.

Invited Committees

  • Member of the Evaluation Group for the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme, the DH Bowel Screening Advisory Committee as well as The International Colorectal Cancer Screening Network (ICRCSN).
  • Member of the Advisory Committee for the Policy Research Unit in Cancer Awareness, Screening and Early Diagnosis, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Queen Mary University. 
  • Member of the European Code against Cancer, Screening Working Group, IARC, Lyon.


  • The Lancet
  • The NIHR-HTA




Smith SG, Wardle J, Atkin W, et al., 2017, Reducing the socioeconomic gradient in uptake of the NHS bowel cancer screening Programme using a simplified supplementary information leaflet: a cluster-randomised trial, Bmc Cancer, Vol:17, ISSN:1471-2407

Atkin W, Wooldrage K, Sasieni P, et al., 2017, Colorectal adenomas, surveillance, and cancer, Lancet Oncology, Vol:18, ISSN:1470-2045, Pages:E427-E427

East JE, Atkin WS, Bateman AC, et al., 2017, British Society of Gastroenterology position statement on serrated polyps in the colon and rectum, Gut, Vol:66, ISSN:0017-5749, Pages:1181-1196

Atkin W, Wooldrage K, Brenner A, et al., 2017, Adenoma surveillance and colorectal cancer incidence: a retrospective, multicentre, cohort study, Lancet Oncology, Vol:18, ISSN:1470-2045, Pages:823-834

Atkin W, Wooldrage K, Parkin DM, et al., 2017, Long-term effects of once-only flexible sigmoidoscopy screening after 17 years of follow-up: the UK Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Screening randomised controlled trial, Lancet, Vol:389, ISSN:0140-6736, Pages:1299-1311

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