Skip to main content
Ned Powell

Dr Ned Powell


School of Medicine

+44 29225 10809
Main Hospital Building, Room UGF243, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, CF14 4XN


I'm a Reader in Medical Education in the Centre for Medical Education. My research career has focused on cancers caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV). HPV causes cervical cancer in women, and oropharyngeal cancers primarily in men (incidence of oropharyngeal cancers are increasing at the fastest rate of any cancer in the UK) . My research covers epidemiology, basic biology and treatment of HPV-driven cancers. This research made a major contribution to the recent decision to change UK vaccination policy to immunise boys against HPV.

SSC Director

I am the Director of the Student Selected Components (SSC) programme that comprises around 15% of the Medical Degree. I also deliver lectures, tutorials, and case-based-learning.

I really enjoy interacting with our bright and motivated students, and helping them learn about subjects that are both important and fascinating.




















My current research focuses on oropharyngeal (primarily tonsil) cancers (OPC). Incidence of OPC is increasing at the fastest rate of any cancer in the UK.

HPV vaccination is now underway (although not for boys) but it will be many years before this translates into reduced numbers of cancers. In the meantime, there is an urgent need to improve treatment for this relatively new disease. In line with the aim, we are characterising the basic biology of HPV cancers, and investigating their sensitivity to novel therapies.

We have recently obtained funding (£2.2 million from CRUK) to extend an ongoing clinical trial (called PATHOS) to optimise treatment of OPC. We are currently rolling this trial out across Europe.


I am the Director of the Student Selected Components (SSC) programme that comprises around 15% of the Medical Degree. I deliver lectures, tutorials, and case-based-learning to Undergrad medical students. I'm also the Yr2 SSC Academic Lead.

I'm a strong believer in evidence based medicine, and see SSCs as a great opportunity for our students to learn how the evidence that supports their future practise is derived. SSCs also provide a great sandbox to experiment with novel teaching methods.

I lecture on cell biology and molecular oncology. I also enjoy supporting tutorials and Case Based Learning (CBL) sessions, during which our students establish the fundamental knowledge that will support future learning.


My first degree was in Medical Microbiology, I then worked a Clinical Scientist for a few years, before undertaking a Phd, cloning antiobiotic biosynthetic genes with Pfizer. Postdoctoral positions investigating DNA repair lead to an interest in Cancer, and in 2005 I joined the HPV Research Group under Professor Alison Fiander in Cardiff.

HPV united my interests in prokaryotic biology, DNA repair and Cancer, and I spent several very happy years with the HPV group, developing a particular interest in OPC.

In 2016 I took on the role of Deputy SSC Director in the Centre for Medical Education, and my teaching activities have expanded since then.

Outside work, I enjoy spending time with my family, generally while sailing or taking part in Scouting activities (I'm a Scout Leader with a group in Penarth).

Professional memberships

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy