Dr Karl Payne BMedSci BMBS BDS FRCS PhD

Dr Karl Payne

Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
NIHR Clinical Lecturer in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
Specialty Registrar in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Contact details

InHANSE, 2nd Floor, Robert Aitken Building
Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Karl Payne is currently an NIHR funded Academic Clinical Lecturer in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery and a Surgical Trainee in the West Midlands.

Karl’s research is focused on the basic science and clinical translation of a liquid biopsy in head and neck cancer treatment - investigating both circulating tumour cells and circulating tumour DNA.

Karl is Surgical Lead in the Human Diseases module for the BDS programme.


  • FRCS, Royal College of Surgeons of England, 2023
  • PhD, University of Birmingham, 2022
  • BDS, King’s College London, 2014
  • MRCS, Royal College of Surgeons of England, 2011
  • BMBS, Nottingham University, 2009
  • BMedSci, Nottingham University, 2007


After studying medicine in Nottingham, Karl completed foundation medical training in the East Midlands. Having made the decision to pursue a career in oral and maxillofacial surgery, he attended King’s College London to study dentistry, during which time he attained membership of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. After completing Dental School Karl undertook core surgical training before being awarded a number in specialty training in oral and maxillofacial surgery in the West Midlands deanery. Karl has recently completed a PhD in head and neck cancer genomics to pursue an academic surgical career in head and neck cancer and reconstruction.   

Karl has written 3 books, one of which is the seminal text for maxillofacial surgery junior trainees nationwide. In addition, he has published extensively, with particular focus on informatics in medical education and head and neck surgery. Having sat on the national maxillofacial surgery trainee committee for 2 years, he was Course Director for the dental core training induction programme in the Midlands and East for 7 years. He continues to work on projects aiming to educate primary care doctors and dentists to diagnose mouth cancer early.


Surgical Lead in Human Diseases Module – BDS, School of Dentistry


Research interests

  • Liquid biopsy in head and neck cancer
  • Circulating tumour cells and circulating tumour DNA – genomic and proteomic characterisation
  • Head and neck cancer reconstructive surgery
  • Maxillofacial deformity

Other activities

  • Course Director, Dental Core Training Induction Programme, Midlands & East
  • Honorary Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Registrar, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham
  • Trainee Representative, for the Council of the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Section of the Royal Society of Medicine, 2012-2014
  • General Secretary, National Committee of the Junior Trainees Group of the British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, 2012-2013
  • Communications Officer, National Committee of the Junior Trainees Group of the British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, 2010-2011



On-call in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. KFB Payne, AMC Goodson, AS Tahim, N Ahmed, K Fan. Libri Publishing. 1st Edition published January 2014. 2nd Edition published February 2015.

Important Oral and Maxillofacial Presentations for the Primary Care Clinician. AMC Goodson, AS Tahim, KFB Payne, PA Brennan. Libri Publishing, October 2016

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: An Illustrated Guide for Medical Students. R Isaac, AMC Goodson, KFB Payne, A Tahim, P Brennan. Libri Publishing, 2022


Payne K, Brooks J, Batis N, Khan N, El-Asrag M, et al. Feasibility of mass cytometry proteomic characterisation of circulating tumour cells in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma for deep phenotyping. British Journal of Cancer. 2023; 126: 1590-98

Payne K, Higginson J, Basyuni S, Goodson A, Chadha A, et al.  Academic Training in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery – when and how to enter the pathway. Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2023; 61(2): 124-130

Payne K, J Brooks, N Batis, G Taylor, P Nankivell, H Mehanna. Characterising the epithelial-mesenchymal transition status of circulating tumour cells in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Head & Neck. 2022 

Payne K, Tahim A, Goodson A, O’Connor R, Ahmed N, Evans M, Gruber E, Gallagher J, Sharp I, Dickenson A. Delivering a remote induction programme for dental core trainees: an innovative learner-centric approach during the COVID-19 pandemic. Faculty Dentistry Journal (RCS Eng). 2022; 13(11):27-33

Mattine S, Payne K. The evolving role of the superficial temporal vessels as anastomotic recipients in challenging microvascular reconstruction of the upper two-thirds of the face. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2022; S1748-6815(22)00290-X

Payne K, Brooks JM, Taylor GS, Batis N, Noyvert B, Pan Y, Nankivell P, Mehanna H. Immediate Sample Fixation Increases Circulating Tumour Cell (CTC) Capture and Preserves Phenotype in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Towards a Standardised Approach to Microfluidic CTC Biomarker Discovery. Cancers. 2021;13(21):5519

Whalley C, Payne K, Domingo E, Blake A, Richman S, Brooks J, Batis N, Spruce R; S-CORT Consortium, Mehanna H, Nankivell P, Beggs AD. Ultra-Low DNA Input into Whole Genome Methylation Assays and Detection of Oncogenic Methylation and Copy Number Variants in Circulating Tumour DNA. Epigenomes. 2021;5(1):6

Borsetto D, Tomasoni M, Payne K, Polesel J, Deganello A, Bossi P, Tysome JR, Masterson L, Tirelli G, Tofanelli M, Boscolo-Rizzo P. Prognostic Significance of CD4+ and CD8+ Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma: A Meta-Analysis. Cancers. 2021;13(4):781

(joint first author) Batis N, Brooks JM, Payne K, Sharma N, Nankivell P, Mehanna H.Lack of predictive tools for conventional and targeted cancer therapy: Barriers to biomarker development and clinical translation. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2021;176:113854.

Payne K, Pugh M, Brooks J, Batis N, Taylor G, Nankivell P, Mehanna H. Circulating Tumour Cell Expression of Immune Markers as Prognostic and Therapeutic Biomarkers in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Int J Mol Sci. 2020;21(21):8229

Payne K, Brooks J, Spruce R, Batis N, Taylor G, Nankivell P, et al. Circulating Tumour Cell Biomarkers in Head and Neck Cancer: Current Progress and Future Prospects. Cancers 2019; 11(8):1115.

Payne KFB, Spruce R, et al. Circulating Tumour DNA as a Biomarker and Liquid Biopsy in Head and Neck Cancer. Head & Neck 2018;40:1598-1604

Borsetto D, Cheng J, Payne K, et al. Surveillance of HPV-Positive Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma with Circulating and Salivary DNA Biomarkers. Crit Rev Oncog 2018;23(3-4):235-245

Payne KFB, Goodson AM, et al. Why worry about bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw? A guide to diagnosis, initial management, and referral of patients. British Journal General Practice 2017; 67(660): 330-331

Mattine S, Payne KFB. Variation in the site of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve during harvest of a DCIA free flap. British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 2016; Dec 3rd.

Payne KFB, Haq J, Connor S, Brown J. The role of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging in the diagnosis, lymph node staging and assessment of treatment response of head and neck cancer. International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 2015; 44(1): 1-7.

Goodson AM, Payne KF, George K, McGurk M. Minimally invasive treatment of oral ranula: adaptation to an old technique. British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 2015; 53(4): 332-5.

Goodson AMC, Payne KFB, Simmons J, Jain A. Free-flap telemonitoring to the surgeon’s handheld device: proof of concept. Microsurgery 2014; 34(5): 413-4.

Payne KFB, Balasundaram I, Deb S, Di Silvio L, Fan KF. Tissue engineering technology and its possible applications in oral and maxillofacial surgery. Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2014; 52(1):7-15.

Payne KF, Weeks L, Dunning P. A mixed methods pilot study to investigate the impact of a hospital-specific iPhone application (iTreat) within a British junior doctor cohort. Health Informatics Journal 2014; 20(1): 59-73.

Tahim AS, Payne KFB, Goodson, AMC, Cabot, LC, Fan, K. Can I be a student again? How medical graduates make the decision to return to dental school prior to a career in oral and maxillofacial surgery. Eur J Dent Educ 2013: Oct 5 

Balasundaram I, Payne KFB, et al. Is there any benefit in surgery for potentially malignant disorders of the oral cavity? J Oral Pathol Med 2013; Jun 10.

Payne KFB, Wharrad HJ, Watts K. Smartphone and Medical related App use among Medical students and Junior doctors in the United Kingdom (UK): a regional survey. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 2012;12:121.

Goodson AMC, Payne KFB, Tahim A, Cabot L, Fan K. Awareness of oral and maxillofacial surgery as a specialty and potential career pathway amongst UK medical undergraduates. The Surgeon 2012; epub Oct 10.