Professor Aneel Bhangu MBChB, FRCS, PhD

Professor Aneel Bhangu

Institute of Applied Health Research
Professor of Global Surgery
Consultant Colorectal Surgeon

Contact details

Institute of Applied Health Research
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Mr Aneel Bhangu is Professor of Global Surgery at the University of Birmingham and a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon at University Hospital Birmingham. His clinical practice includes management of colorectal cancer, common proctological problems, and a range of general and emergency conditions. Aneel is based in the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences. His full online CV can be found on his website

With over 200 peer-reviewed research publications, Aneel’s h-index is 44. His achievements were recognised by the prestigious Young Coloproctologist of the Year 2018 award from the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland.

Aneel has an international research portfolio and conducts clinical trials across Europe and globally. He was a founding member of the GlobalSurg Collaborative, an international research network linking over 3,000 surgeons across 100 countries. He sits on the Executive Committee of the NIHR Global Health Unit on Global Surgery, providing senior leadership to strategic direction and planning research with healthcare systems in 12 countries. 

Aneel is the Global Chief Investigator of the COVIDSurg Collaborative, which has led an international research response for surgery in the COVID era. This group has produced multiple high impact research papers, including within the Lancet, leading to one of the highest Altmetric scores for a surgical paper.

This research is of public interest and has been covered by major media in 110 countries, including the Economist and major print newspapers. The group is publishing further research and major policy documents that will lead the post-pandemic response in surgery through to 2025.


  • FRCS, 2017
  • PhD, Imperial College London, 2014
  • MRCS, 2008
  • MBChB, University Of Birmingham, 2004


Aneel received his degree in Medicine from the University of Birmingham in 2004. He was awarded a PhD following completion of a Cancer Research UK Fellowship at Imperial College London, supervised by Professor Paris Tekkis, Professor Gina Brown, and Professor Ara Darzi. His doctoral research focused on high risk rectal cancer. 

Since 2014 Aneel has been a Clinical Lecturer in Colorectal Surgery at the University of Birmingham, where he co-founded the COVIDSurg Collaborative. This is an international collaborative research network, which is now supported as the NIHR Global Health Unit on Global Surgery by a £7 million grant from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR).

Aneel has been the Chief Investigator for multiple global studies, including the COVIDSurg studies and the NIHR funded CHEETAH randomised trial. He is leading the development of novel pathways for the public communication of surgical research.


Each year, Aneel supervises intercalation students at the University of Birmingham, principally from the Clinical Sciences and Anatomy BMedSc intercalated programmes. 

He lead the national Generating Surgical Recruiters for Randomised Trials (GRANULE) initiative. Developed in partnership with the Bowel Disease Research Foundation, GRANULE workshops developed students’ awareness of clinical trials and how to introduce and discuss research opportunities with patients. Based on this, a freely-accessible online course that has been created by the NIHR. 

Aneel was a senior co-founding member of Student Audit and Research in Surgery (STARSurg), a national student-driven research network which engages medical students in high quality research, embedding clinical research as a part of their routine early in their career. Aneel has supervised a number of national cohort studies delivered by STARSurg (publication list).

Postgraduate supervision

Aneel supervises an active PhD fellow programme, that includes both surgical trainees and allied health professionals. The day to day supervision structures have led to major publications and high profile outputs for these fellows, who are all moving onwards to become future leaders in surgical research. He is delighted to hear from potential future candidates of all experience levels, as long as they have big visions of the future.


Global Surgery

Aneel has been a core member of the GlobalSurg steering committee, which has delivered three international cohort studies, working with 3000 surgeons across 100 countries to collect prospective data on 40,000 patients. These studies aim at providing high quality data on surgical care in low and middle income countries (LMICs). 

Following pilot work to develop a global surgery RCT proposal supported by the Joint Global Health Trials (MRC/Wellcome Trust/NIHR/UK AID), the National Institute for Health Research supported the establishment of the NIHR Unit on Global Surgery at the University of Birmingham.

As a key member of the Unit, Aneel is working with LMIC partners to co-ordinate the establishment of overseas research hubs. These are delivering the FALCON, CHEETAH, and PENGUIN trials. Aneel is the chief investigator of the novel cluster randomised CHEETAH trial, which will recruit 12,000 patients from low and middle income countries across Africa, Asia, and South America.

COVIDSurg Network

Aneel is the Global Chief Investigator of GlobalSurg, which has the following achievements:

  • 25,000 strong surgeon network
  • 150,000 patients included from 110 countries
  • Seven high impact, practice changing papers
  • A new pipeline for disseminating impact to surgical teams and the public
  • A novel online living toolkit, to deliver global change for patients (
  • A roadmap for research for the next 3 years to support safe and sustainable post-pandemic surgery 

Other activities

Chief Investigator:

  • ROCSS: Reinforcement of Closure of Stoma Site. A randomised controlled trial of reinforcement of closure of stoma site using a biological mesh.
  • CHEETAH: ClustEr randomisEd Trial of sterile glove and instrument change at the time of wound closure to reduce surgical site infection 

Trial Management Group Member:

  • FALCON: Pragmatic multicentre FActorial randomised controlled triaL testing measures to reduCe surgical site infection in low and middle income couNtries
  • ROSSINI-2: Reduction of Surgical Site Infection using a Novel Intervention 2

Membership of Committees:

  • Cohort Studies Committee of the European Society of Coloproctology

Previous Membership of Committees:

  • British Journal of Surgery Editorial Assistant (2018-19)
  • West Midlands Research Collaborative (2008-18)
  • STARSurg steering committee (2013-17)

Membership of Societies:

  • Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland
  • European Society of Coloproctology


Selected publications

  • COVIDSurg Collaborative. Mortality and pulmonary complications in patients undergoing surgery with perioperative SARS-CoV-2 infection: an international cohort study. Lancet. 2020 Jul 4;396(10243):27-38. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31182-X. 
  • COVIDSurg Collaborative. Elective Cancer Surgery in COVID-19-Free Surgical Pathways During the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic: An International, Multicenter, Comparative Cohort Study. J Clin Oncol. 2020 Oct 6:JCO2001933. doi: 10.1200/JCO.20.01933.
  • CovidSurg Collaborative, Nepogodiev D, Bhangu A. Elective surgery cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic: global predictive modelling to inform surgical recovery plans [published online ahead of print, 2020 May 12]. Br J Surg. 2020;10.1002/bjs.11746. doi:10.1002/bjs.1174
  • Bhangu A, Reinforcement of Closure of Stoma Site (ROCSS) Collaborative and West Midlands Research Collaborative. Prophylactic biological mesh reinforcement versus standard closure of stoma site (ROCSS): a multicentre, randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2020 Feb 8;395(10222):417-426. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(19)32637-6.
  • Bhangu A, GlobalSurg Collaborative. Surgical site infection after gastrointestinal surgery in high-income, middle-income, and low-income countries: a prospective, international, multicentre cohort study. Lancet Infect Dis. 2018 Feb 13. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(18)30101.
  • Nepogodiev D, Martin J, Biccard B, Makupe A, Bhangu A; NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Global Surgery. Global burden of postoperative death. Lancet. 2019 Feb 2;393(10170):401. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)33139-8.
  • COVIDSurg Collaborative; GlobalSurg Collaborative. Timing of surgery following SARS-CoV-2 infection: an international prospective cohort study. Anaesthesia. 2021 Mar 9. doi: 10.1111/anae.15458. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33690889.
  • Bhangu A, GlobalSurg Collaborative. Mortality of emergency abdominal surgery in high-, middle- and low-income countries. Br J Surg. 2016 May 4. doi: 10.1002/bjs.10151.
  • Bhangu A, Søreide K, Di Saverio S, Assarsson JH, Drake FT. Acute appendicitis: modern understanding of pathogenesis, diagnosis, and management. Lancet. 2015 Sep 26;386(10000):1278-87.
  • Bhangu A, Kolias, A, Pinkney T, Hall, N, Fitzgerald J. Surgical Research Collaboratives in the UK. Lancet. 2013:382(9898);1091-1092.

View all publications in research portal


Aneel has clinical and media experience in discussing the following topics:

  • Impact of COVID-19 on surgical services
  • Global Surgery – involving topics of surgical care around the world
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Appendicitis
  • General Surgery
  • Colorectal Surgery
  • Emergency Surgery
  • Health systems
  • Digital Health
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery

Media experience