James Underwood

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James Cresseé Elphinstone Underwood
Born (1942-04-11) 11 April 1942 (age 72)
Walsall, England, UK
Residence United Kingdom
Nationality British
Fields Medicine, Pathologist
Institutions School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Sheffield
Alma mater St Bartholomew's Hospital
Known for General and Systematic Pathology[1]
Notable awards The Cunningham Medal,[2] The Doniach Award[3]

Sir James Underwood FMedSci is a British pathologist who was awarded a knighthood for services to medicine in the 2005 New Year honours list.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Underwood was born at Walsall in 1942, where his father, John Underwood, was a general practitioner.[5] The family settled in Cheltenham in 1948. He was educated at Downside School, Somerset.[6] From 1960-1965 he was a medical student at St Bartholomew's Hospital,[7] London, and a house doctor at St Stephen's Hospital, Chelsea.


He was formerly the Dean of Sheffield University's Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and the Joseph Hunter Professor of Pathology at the same university as well as Consultant Histopathologist to the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.[8] From 2000-2002, by election, he served as the President of the British Division of the International Academy of Pathology[9] and he was later elected to be the President of the Royal College of Pathologists from 2002-2005.[10][11]

He led his profession's response to the problems arising from tissue retention and use in the UK.[12] Just before retirement, at the age of 64, professor Underwood became a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.[13]

He was a member of the Human Tissue Authority, which monitors and regulates use of human organs in research and education.[14] During his career Sir James recalled making a mistake when he mistook a benign adenomatoid tumor for a malignant testicular tumor, which resulted in the patient having a testicle removed unnecessarily.[15]

Research interests[edit]


Sir James Underwood and his wife, Lady Alice, have three children.[19][20] Outside work, he finds music interesting and he enjoys walks with his family.[21]


  • The book Underwood's Pathology: a Clinical Approach (published in 2013), was named after Sir James,[22] and it won the 2014 British Medical Association Student Textbook Award.[23]
  • Co-editor of General and Systematic Pathology, Churchill Livingstone, 2009 (5th edition). Previous editions have won Sir James and contributing authors the Royal Society of Medicine Book Award (2000, 3rd Edition) and the British Medical Association Student Textbook Award (2005, 4th Edition) and a first prize in the British Book Design and Production Awards (2001, 3rd Edition).[7]
  • Former co-editor of Recent Advances in Histopathology[24][24][24][24][24]
  • Editor of Introduction to biopsy interpretation and surgical pathology[25]
  • Editor of Pathology of the nucleus[26]
  • Editor of Case studies in General and Systematic Pathology[27]
  • Former editor of the journal Histopathology


  1. ^ J.C.E Underwood, S.S Cross (2009). General and Systematic Pathology (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone. p. 872. ISBN 978-0-443-06888-1. 
  2. ^ "The Cunningham Medal". Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  3. ^ "The Doniach Award". Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  4. ^ "Royal College of Pathologists". Retrieved 2007-07-25. 
  5. ^ BMJ Obituary. Retrieved 2007-09-08
  6. ^ Underwood, Sir James Cresseé Elphinstone, in Who's Who 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-15
  7. ^ a b "International Academy of Pathology limited". Retrieved 2007-07-27. 
  8. ^ "The University of Sheffield". Archived from the original on 2007-04-24. Retrieved 2007-07-25. 
  9. ^ "The BDIAP Newsletter". Retrieved 2009-06-06. 
  10. ^ "The Royal College of Pathologists". Retrieved 2007-07-27. 
  11. ^ "The Jean Shanks Foundation". Retrieved 2009-06-06. 
  12. ^ "Alder Hey: Leading pathologist James Underwood quizzed". BBC News. 31 January 2001. Retrieved 2007-07-25. 
  13. ^ "The Academy of Medical Sciences: Directory". Retrieved 2009-06-06. 
  14. ^ "Human Tissue Authority". Retrieved 2007-07-25. 
  15. ^ National Patient Protection Agency, retrieved 2010-11-21 
  16. ^ "The 47th Annual Congress of the Federation of South African Societies of Pathology". Retrieved 2007-07-27. 
  17. ^ "Pub Med". Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  18. ^ "Nottingham Trent University distinguished lecturer series". Retrieved 2011-07-18. 
  19. ^ "The Shipman Inquiry". Retrieved 2009-06-06. 
  20. ^ J.C.E Underwood (2004). General and Systematic Pathology (4th ed.). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone. p. 839. ISBN 0-443-07334-1. 
  21. ^ "Amazon:General and Systematic Pathology (Paperback)". Retrieved 2007-06-06. 
  22. ^ "Amazon". Retrieved 2013-05-19. 
  23. ^ "BMA Medical Book Awards". 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  24. ^ a b c d e D.G Lowe, J.C.E Underwood (1999). Recent advances in histopathology (18 ed.). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone. p. 280. ISBN 978-0-443-06036-6. 
  25. ^ J.C.E Underwood (1981). Introduction to biopsy interpretation and surgical pathology. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. p. 149. ISBN 0-387-10434-8. 
  26. ^ J.Crocker, J.C.E Underwood (1990). Pathology of the nucleus. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. p. 343. ISBN 978-0-387-51018-7. 
  27. ^ J.C.E Underwood (1996). Case studies in General and Systematic Pathology. New York: Churchill Livingstone. p. 175. ISBN 0-443-05096-1. 

External links[edit]

Educational offices
Preceded by
Sir John Lilleyman
President of the Royal College of Pathologists
2002 – 2005
Succeeded by
Adrian Newland