Liverpool Head & Neck Centre

Keith Hunter

Keith Hunter

Professor of Head and neck Pathology/honorary Consultant Histopathologist

I am Professor of Head and Neck Pathology and a Clinical Academic Histopathologist in Molecular and Clinical Cancer Medicine at the University of Liverpool, UK and Liverpool Universities NHS Foundation Trust, Working in the Liverpool Head and Neck Centre.  I completed my PhD at the CRUK Beatson Institute for Cancer Research (Glasgow) and clinical training at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.  I moved to the University of Sheffield in 2009 where I established a research group focussing on the transcriptional changes seen in the various stages in the development of oral precancer and cancer with a particular interest in the control of cellular immortalization of keratinocytes and aspects of the tumour microenvironment.  I moved to the Liverpool Head and Neck Centre in 2022.


I am the author of over 120 peer reviewed articles and have also contributed to several books, including the 2022 WHO Classification of Tumours of the Head and Neck, and am a co-author of the 5th edition of Soames and Southam’s Oral Pathology.


My lab focusses on the tumour microenvironment in cancers of the head and neck, mainly investigating cancers of the oral cavity and oropharynx.  This includes the clinical pathology and biology of Potentially Malignant Disorders of the oral cavity, with wide collaborations and links to Industry in this area.  

  • With two other colleagues, I provide the regional specialist Head and Neck Pathology diagnostic service, contributing to the regional Head and Neck MDT. I also have a particular interest and expertise in odontogenic tumours and other lesions of the jaws and undertake research into the biology of odontogenic tumours.


    BSc (Hons) Pharmacology, University of Glasgow 1994

    BDS (Hons), University of Glasgow 1997

    FDS, RCSEd 2000

    PhD, University of Glasgow, 2005

    FRCPath, 2007


  • I am the current Chair of the Advisory Board for Speciality Training in Dentistry (ABSTD)


    External appointments

    Honorary Professor, University of Sheffield

    Extraordinary Professor, University of Pretoria, South Africa

    TPD for Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology Training, North-West Region

    RCPath: Member of The SAC for Cellular Pathology

     Member of the Working Group for Cancer Services

    EORTC: Member of the Steering Committee for the H&N Group

    ESMO:              ESMO Faculty (Head and Neck) 2021-24


    PhD candidates:

    Constanza Marin (University of Sheffield)

    Malwina Matella (University of Sheffeild)

    Hannah Crane (University of Sheffield)

    Faisal Alhedyan (University of Sheffield)