UCL Ear Institute


Spotlight on Professor Valerie Lund

7 September 2015

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If you're looking for inspirational women, then look no further. The UCL Ear Institute is hugely privileged to be able to name Professor Valerie Lund CBE as one of our own. She is the only designated Professor of Rhinology in the UK here at the UCL Ear Institute and holds Honorary contracts at the Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital, Moorfields Eye Hospital, University College Hospital and Imperial College.

Professor Lund contributes extensively to research literature with 30 books and monographs, 87 chapters and over 300 peer-reviewed papers. She is also Honorary Senior Editor of ‘Rhinology’, after 15 years as Editor-in-Chief, a journal which has the  highest impact factor amongst all ENT journals.

Professor Lund receives worldwide recognition for her extensive and often pioneering work in the field of sinonasal malignancy and the anterior skull base with honorary membership of eight international ENT societies (Belgian, Danish, Dutch, German, Spanish, Romanian, Russian and South African). In 2008 she was awarded a CBE  for services to medicine in the Queen’s New Year Honours and in 2009 she received election to the Leopoldina (German Academy of Science).

Professor Lund's credentials mean she is invited to give keynote lectures around the world, and recently she gave the Stirk Adams lecture at the Midland Institute of Otorhinolaryngology (on the ‘Surgical Management of Sinonasal Malignancy’). Further highlights for Professor Lund this year include being named as a "Key Brit" at BACO, and receiving an Honorary Degree in Medicine from Brighton University (in addition to her original medical degree of course which she received from from Charing Cross Medical School in 1977!)

As if to cap it all off, Prof Lund will be the first ever woman ‘Master’ of the next British Academic Conference in Otorhinolaryngology (BACO) in 2018.

Why did you choose ENT?

I went into ENT because I wanted to be a surgeon – that was the first thing. Initially I thought I might do plastic surgery but at the time there were hundreds of plastic surgeons, none of them women. Then a friend of mine suggested ENT because it offered most of the things in plastics that I was interested in and was very broad ranging. My friend was absolutely right because it is extremely varied; operations range from the biggest cancer operations there are, to tiny microscopic state of the art minimally invasive surgery, and you still get to be a physician.
When I was starting out in ENT, the nose and sinuses were becoming very interesting with the introduction of endoscopes and CT scanning etc. and with a guiding hand from Professor Sir Donald Harrison, I decided that is what I would specialise in. So professionally I cover all aspects from allergy and inflammation, right the way through infection to nose and sinus tumours, which are extremely rare but are a significant part of my practice.
As far as I’m aware, I’m the only designated Professor of Rhinology in Great Britain and that means that I am able to attract a very broad base of patients from around the UK and abroad with special or unusual conditions. Over the years, we’ve accrued the biggest group of craniofacial dissections in the world, we also have substantial groups of patients with hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia, Wegener’s granulomatosis, and mucoceles. I have been instrumental in furthering the extended applications of endoscopic sinus surgery internationally as I have a particular interest in the orbit and skull base as I am the ENT surgeon for Moorfields Eye Hospital. I have also recently been elected as a member of the German Academy of Science – Leopoldina.

Three of Prof Lund's most recent publications, breifly summarised in her own words (all taken from Rhinology):

Does time to endoscopic sinus surgery impact outcomesin Chronic Rhinosinusitis? Prospective findings from the National Comparative Audit of Surgery for Nasal Polyposis and Chronic Rhinosinusitis: The time to surgery has caused a lot of interest as it shows that the earlier you operate, the better the results which is politically quite provocative when GPs are delaying referral of CRS patients.

FESS, fingers and other things - you are not alone! The occupational study was done through the British Rhinological Society and we have just completed a pan-European survey.

Hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia: The HHT review is based on my cohort of nearly 500 cases, one of the largest in the world.