Mr Aneel Bhangu MBChB, FRCS, PhD

Mr Aneel Bhangu

Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
Senior Lecturer
Consultant Surgeon

Contact details

Second Floor
Institute of Translational Medicine
Heritage Building
University of Birmingham
Birmingham B15 2TH

Mr Aneel Bhangu is a Senior Lecturer in Surgery at the University of Birmingham and a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon at University Hospital Birmingham. His clinical practice includes management of colorectal cancer, and proctology (fistula, fissure, pilonidal sinus, haemorrhoids). Aneel is based in the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences.

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 3000 surgeons across 100 countries. He sits on the Executive Committee of the NIHR Unit on Global Surgery, providing senior leadership to strategic direction and planning research with healthcare systems in 12 countries. 

With over 150 peer-reviewed research publications, Aneel’s h-index is 36. 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 is the Global Chief Investigator of the COVIDSurg Collaborative, which has led an international research response to provide evidence around the safety of surgery during COVID-19 pandemic. The group has published a full research paper in the Lancet, identify the risks of surgery in patients with SARS-CoV-2. They have also published a major policy research article in the British Journal of Surgery, which identified that 28million elective operations were cancelled during the first 12 weeks of the pandemic. This study was covered by major media in 80 countries, including the Economist. The group is publishing further research and major policy documents that will lead the post-pandemic response in surgery from 2020-2025.


  • 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 established the GlobalSurg Collaborative. This is an international collaborative research network which is now supported as the NIHR Unit on Global Surgery by a £7m grant from the National Institute of Health Research.

Aneel has led several West Midlands Research Collaborative studies, including the Reinforcement of Closure of Stoma Site (ROCSS) randomised controlled trial (2012-18), the National Appendicitis Audit (2012), and the Right Iliac Fossa Treatment (RIFT) Study (2017).


Aneel has supervised intercalation students at the University of Birmingham, principally from the Clinical Sciences and Anatomy BMedSc intercalated programmes. 

He is leading the national Generating Surgical Recruiters for Randomised Trials (GRANULE) initiative. Developed in partnership with the Bowel Disease Research Foundation and the University of Bristol, GRANULE workshops develop students’ awareness of clinical trials and how to introduce and discuss research opportunities with patients. The workshops focus on effective communication of equipoise and explanation of randomisation. Based on GRANULE, a freely-accessible online course that has been created by the NIHR. 

Aneel was the senior 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 welcomes interest from individuals from both medical and non-medical backgrounds who would like to discuss opportunities to undertake higher research degrees within the NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Global Surgery.


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.

UK trainee research networks

Aneel's achievements within the West Midlands Research Collaborative (WMRC) include:

  • Leading the first national trainee-led cohort study, the National Appendectomy Audit in 2012.
  • Trainee Chief Investigator for the Reinforcement of Closure of Stoma Site (ROCSS) randomised controlled trial. ROCSS is currently in its follow-up phase having randomised 790 patients to prophylactic biological mesh at the time of stoma closure versus control.
  • Co-applicant and TMG member for the Reduction of Surgical Site Infection using a Novel Intervention 2 (ROSSINI-2) RCT, the first multi-arm, multi-stage trial in gastrointestinal surgery.
  • Senior lead for the Right Iliac Fossa Treatment (RIFT) Study in 2017, which captured prospective data on over 11,000 patients presenting with RIF pain across 270 units in the UK, Ireland, Spain, Italy, and Portugal.
  • Hosting the annual National Research Collaborative Meeting in 2009-12 and 2017. The 2017 meeting attracted 250 students, trainees, consultants and research staff from across the UK.

Student engagement

Aneel was the senior founding member of Student Audit and Research in Surgery (STARSurg), a national student-driven research network which engages medical students in high quality research. Aneel has supervised three national cohort studies run by the STARSurg, in addition to running annual collaborator meetings which attract over 150 medical students from across the UK.

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

  • Nepogodiev D, Martin J, Biccard B, Makupe A, Bhangu A. Deaths within 30 days of surgery in low-, middle-, and high-income countries. Lancet. 2019 Feb 2;393(10170):401.
  • 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 Infectious Disease. 2018 Feb 13. pii: S1473-3099(18)30101-4.
  • Bhangu A, GlobalSurg Collaborative. Mortality of emergency abdominal surgery in high-, middle- and low-income countries. British Journal of Surgery (BJS). 2016 Jul;103(8):971-988.
  • Chapman SJ, Shelton B, Mahmood H, Fitzgerald JE, Harrison EM, Bhangu A. Discontinuation and non-publication of surgical randomised controlled trials:observational study. British Medical Journal (BMJ). 2014 Dec 9;349:g6870.
  • Bhangu A, Søreide K, Di Saverio S, Assarsson JH, Drake FT. Acute appendicitis: modern understanding of pathogenesis, diagnosis, and management. The Lancet 386 (10000), 1278-1287.
  • Bhangu A, Brown G, Nicholls RJ, Wong J, Darzi A, Tekkis P. Survival outcome of local excision versus radical resection of colon or rectal carcinoma: a Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) population-based study. Annals of surgery 258 (4), 563-571.
  • Bhangu A, United Kingdom National Surgical Research Collaborative. Safety of short, in-hospital delays before surgery for acute appendicitis: multicentre cohort study, systematic review, and meta-analysis. Annals  of Surgery. 2014 May;259(5):894-903.
  • Bhangu A. STARSurg Collaborative Multicentre prospective cohurt study of body mass index and postoperative complications following gastrointestinal surgery. British Journal of Surgery (BJS). 2016 Aug; 103(9): 1157-72.


View all publications in research portal