About Professor Thomas J Hugh

Discovering prognostic biomarkers of malignant liver tumours Achieving optimal clinical outcomes after major hepato-biliary surgery and complex hernia surgery

Professor Tom Hugh is an Upper GI surgeon at Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) and North Shore Private Hospital (NSPH), Sydney Australia. From 2006-2014 he was Head of the Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery at RNSH, and from 2014-2018 he was Head of the Upper GI Surgical unit at RNSH. Currently, he is the Chair and Professor of Surgery at the Northern Clinical School, University of Sydney, and the Director of the SERT Institute, RNSH. His clinical interests include the management of benign and malignant liver tumours, gallstone disease, and repair of groin and complex abdominal wall hernias.

Tom Hugh was the co-ordinator of Post-Graduate Training at the Sydney Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre at RNSH from 1999-2010. He continues to serve as the acting clinical director of training. He has been a member of the Board of CanSur, a not-for-profit cancer surgery research foundation based in the Kolling Institute, RNSH since 2008. His laboratory research interests relate to tumour and stromal biomarkers in primary colorectal cancer, colorectal liver metastases, and primary malignant liver tumours. He has supervised numerous PhD, Masters of Surgery, and Biostatistics research students through the University of Sydney. Professor Hugh's two main areas of clinical research include outcomes after major hepato-biliary surgery, and technical refinements to improve short and long-term results after surgery for inguinal and ventral hernias. He has authored and co-authored >115 papers in peer reviewed journals as well as four book chapters.

Tom Hugh has extensive administrative experience as Head of Department and through multiple committee roles at RNSH over the past 20 years. From 1999-2005 he was an executive board member of the Sydney Upper Gastrointestinal Surgical Society (SUGSS) and the Australian Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association (AHPBA). He was a long-serving board member of the Australia and New Zealand Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association (ANZHPBA) executive committee (2006-2018). In 2016, Tom Hugh established the Surgical Education, Research and Training (SERT) Institute and the Data Analysis and Surgical Outcomes (DASO) Unit at RNSH.

The Hepato-Biliary and Pancreatic Surgical Unit at Royal North Shore Hospital performs a large volume of complex hepato-biliary and pancreatic surgery mainly for malignant disease. Members of the unit undertake both clinical and laboratory-based research supported by large clinical databases linked to a tumour biobank containing more than 300 samples of frozen resected cancer specimens. The unit undertakes regular prospective audit and maintains numerous subspecialty clinical databases which support clinical outcomes research with the assistance of a full-time departmental data manager. Tom Hugh is the lead responsible for the liver resection database which contains over 1000 consecutive liver resections with long term follow up. He also maintains large prospective personal cholecystectomy and hernia clinical databases. In 2019, members of the HPB unit authored a total of 32 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals.

Tom Hugh has close affiliations with the Kolling Research Institute and, in conjunction with several research groups (including CanSur and the Colorectal Cancer genetics laboratory run by Professor Mark Molloy) he is involved in research into the molecular biology of Hepato-Biliary tumours

Selected publications

Quilantang M and Hugh TJ. Embedding a data culture in surgical practice - challenges and the need for a new approach ANZ J Surg June 2020

Unsuspected choledocholithiasis found by routine intra‚Äźoperative cholangiography during laparoscopic cholecystectomy O'Neill RS, Wennmacker SZ, Bhimani N, van Dijk AH, de Reuver P, Hugh TJ ANZ J Surg June 2020

S Lumba, M Lin, W Xuan, A Tognela, S Lim, T Hugh, W Chua, W Ng Colorectal cancer patients with isolated liver metastases-A retrospective review and outcomes post-metastasectomy stratified by k-ras status. Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology 2013: 9, 59

Chen J, Gundara JS, Haddad R, Schiavone V, Meldrum C, Samra JS, Gill AJ, Hugh TJ. Clinicopathological and molecular aspects of foregut gastrointestinal stromal tumours. ANZ J Surg. 2014; 84(1-2):52-8.

Alvarado-Bachmann R, Smith A, Gundara JS, Kuo SC, Gill AJ, Samra JS, Hugh TJ. The incidence of mismatch repair gene defects in colorectal liver metastases. Mol Med Rep. 2014; 10(2):1003-6. 

Connor SJ, Perry W, Nathanson L, Hugh TB, Hugh TJ. Using a standardized method for laparoscopic cholecystectomy to create a concept operation-specific checklist. HPB (Oxford). 2014; 16(5):422-9. 

Pang TC, Spiro C, Ramacciotti T, Choi J, Drummond M, Sweeney E, Samra JS, Hugh TJ. Complications following liver resection for colorectal metastases do not impact on long term outcome. HPB (Oxford). 2015 Feb;17(2):185-93

Brown KM, Xue A, Julovi SM, Gill AJ, Pavlakis N, Samra JS, Smith RC, Hugh TJ. Using patient-derived xenograft models of colorectal liver metastases to predict chemosensitivity. J Surg Res. 2018 Jul;227:158-167.

Brown KM, Albania MF, Samra JS, Kelly PJ, Hugh TJ. Propensity score analysis of non-anatomical versus anatomical resection of colorectal liver metastases. BJS Open. 2019 Mar 18;3(4):521-531

Jones RP, Are C, Hugh TJ, Grünhagen DJ, Xu J, Balch CM, Poston GJ. Reshaping the critical role of surgeons in oncology research. Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2019 May;16(5):327-332.

Schlichtemeier SM, Nahm CB, Xue A, Gill AJ, Smith RC, Hugh TJ. SELDI-TOF MS Analysis of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in an Australian Cohort. J Surg Res. 2019 Jun;238:127-136.