Photo of Professor Richard Shaw

Professor Richard Shaw

  • Professor of Head & Neck Surgery, Honorary Consultant in Oral & Maxillofacial, Associate Director & Surgical Oncology Specialty Lead, NIHR Clinical Research Network (Cancer)


Richard graduated in Bristol and Glasgow from primary degrees in dentistry and medicine. After surgical training in Glasgow, Richard moved to Liverpool in 2001 to undertake higher training in OMFS and subsequently a head & neck oncology fellowship. Integrated within this clinical training, Richard completed his thesis as a RCSEng Research Fellow, as well as DoH Genetics in Healthcare Fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Cenrtre, USA.

Richard was appointed to Liverpool University and Aintree in 2007, gaining his personal chair in 2012. Richard co-chairs the Mersey Head & Neck Ocnology Research Group (MHNORG), an expanding and vibrant multidisciplinary collaboration of clinicians and scientists committed to improving understanding and treatment of malignancies of the mouth, throat and larynx.

Following several senior roles in the NCRI Clinical Studies Groups, Richard was appointed as an associate director of CRN(Cancer) with specific remit for advancing surgical oncology trials and the role of surgeons in the national cancer portfolio.

Clinical & Research interests

Richards clinical role is as a head and neck surgeon specialising in oral cavity, microvascular reconstruction, osteoradionecrosis and premalignancy. He has taken roles in innovation for composite, chimeric and perforator free flaps, sentinel node biopsy and the management of oral dysplasia.

Laboratory interests include epigenetics, determinants of metastasis and viral oncogenesis.

Richard’s clinical trials, led through LCTU and NWSTC include the management of osteoradionecrosis, premalignancy and metastasis in OSCC, as well as methodological work on barriers to recruitment and the role of surgeons in multidisciplinary trials.


As well as teaching on the MBChB and BDS courses, Richard has held a role as year 4 director for the MBChB (2012-15). Currently he has a co-ordinating role for the surgical curriculum on the MBChB course, and also on the Institute of Translational Medicine Education Committee as lead for the MBChB course.

Richard leads the University MSc programme in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, which currently has 5 OMFS specific modules and is highly valued by surgical trainees in both Mersey and Manchester Deaneries. He also supervises/ co-supervises 10 MD or PHD postgraduate research projects and two NIHR ACL posts

He is a surgical trainer and assigned supervisor for the OMFS higher training programme, serves on the STEC committee and as a trainer for the head & neck interface fellowships 2008-2014.