Skip to main content
Wolfson Institute of Population Health

Professor Fiona Walter


Director of the Wolfson Institute of Population Health, and Professor of Primary Care Cancer Research

Telephone: +44 (0)207 882 2515


As Director of the Wolfson Institute of Population Health, I am responsible for the strategic leadership of the Institute’s research and education.

I also co-lead the WIPH’s Cancer Detection and Diagnosis Unit with Professor Stephen Duffy. Our objective is to deliver world-class research focusing on the cancer pathway, from prevention, screening, early detection and diagnostics to pre-treatment care; we also focus on translating genetics advances into primary care. I have won research grants totalling more than £35 million in the UK and AU$8 million in Australia, and published over 220 peer-reviewed articles. I co-lead the CanTest Collaborative, Cancer Research UK’s first Catalyst award, aiming to accelerate progress towards improving cancer outcomes by focussing on the transformative implementation in primary care of tests to support early detection of cancer. I am also co-investigator on the £5m NIHR Policy Research Unit in Cancer Awareness, Screening and Early Diagnosis, led by Professor Stephen Duffy.

Current UK research leadership roles include membership of Cancer Research UK’s Early Detection and Diagnosis and Clinical Academic Committees. I have an honorary post at the University of Cambridge’s Primary Care Unit in the Department of Public Health and Primary Care and continue to supervise students and completing studies. My international work is marked by an honorary academic role at the University of Melbourne, Australia, where I contribute to parallel programmes of work on improving outcomes for cancer patients. I also co-lead research in South Africa and Zimbabwe with a NIHR Global Research Group ‘Advancing Early Diagnosis of Cancer across Southern Africa, and contribute to research in Europe and the US. My educational and capacity building work is marked by the setting up and delivery of the CanTest International School in Cancer Detection Research in Primary Care.

EA to WIPH Director: Angela Williams


Research Interests:

My research expertise lies across the primary care research spectrum and includes randomised controlled trials, cohort studies and systematic reviews; I have a particular interest in patient experiences and qualitative and mixed methods approaches.


Please click through to see a complete list of Fiona's publications


Outstanding publications

  • Rubin G, Berendsen A, Crawford SM, Dommett R, Earle C, Emery J, Fahey T, Grassi L, Grunfeld E, Gupta S, Hamilton W, Hiom S, Hunter D, Lyratzopoulos G, Macleod U, Mason R, Mitchell G, Neal RD, Peake M, Roland M, Seifert B, Sisler J, Sussman J, Taplin S, Vedsted P, Voruganti T, Walter FM, Wardle J, Watson E, Weller D, Wender R, Whelan J, Whitlock J, Wilkinson C, de Wit N, Zimmermann C. The expanding role of primary care in cancer control. Lancet Oncol, 2015 Sep;16(12):1231-1272.



Dr Owain Jones, Cancer Research UK. ‘Understanding and implementing technology, artificial intelligence and deep learning to improve melanoma assessment in primary care settings.’

Victoria Hardy, CanTest- Cancer Research UK. ‘Understanding cancer diagnostic pathways for people presenting in primary care with abdominal pain.’

Laura Standen, Barts Charity, ‘Investigating disclosure of subtle cognitive changes when presenting to the GP with a headache’. Start date: Sep 2022)

Stefanie Bonfield, Barts Charity, ‘Understanding public preferences for cancer detection test modalities to improve equitable participation’. Start date: January 2022

Dr Sarah Moore, University of Exeter. ‘How would the refinement of urgent cancer referral criteria, by the inclusion of a broader set of variables available in primary care health records, affect numbers of patients eligible for referral and their outcomes?’

Back to top