Dr Veeru Kasivisvanathan is a board member of the YAU Prostate Cancer Group, Chair of the ESU Imaging, Uropathology and Focal Group, Board member of the ESUI and an Academic Urological Surgeon based at University College London (GB). He completed his training in the London Deanery spending time in North and South London.
What motivated you to go into academic urology?
I always had an inquisitive mind, an attention for detail and was interested in why we do things the way that we do. When I completed some placements in Urology as a junior doctor I fell in love with the specialty. I enjoyed interacting with the patient group, being able to perform a diverse range of procedures using a range of approaches and technologies, being able to see my patients get better in the short term and was motivated that there was an active research community with findings really translating to changes in practice.
You have spent time working abroad in the US at Harvard University and University Southern California and at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Australia. What did you learn from these experiences?
To develop and grow, I think it’s really important to constantly challenge oneself and broaden one’s horizons, learning from other surgeons and researchers in other centres where things are done differently. The opportunity to learn from mentors at world leading centres has helped me to grow clinically and academically and I have formed strong international links for future collaboration.
You have been awarded the prestigious Crystal Matula Award 2022 for being one of the top young academic urologists in Europe which marks you out as a leading light in European Urology. What motivates you in your work?
Many things motivate me: achieving high standards in whatever I do, seeing my patients get better, working as part of a team and seeing my research findings translate into clinical benefit for patients. Another thing that gives me satisfaction is training other urologists and researchers, watching them grow and achieve great things. I particularly enjoy mentoring my research groups and consider it a privilege to be part of their journey. I often think that I learn as much from them as they do from me. If anyone is interested in carrying out research with my group, please do reach out to me and feel free to have a chat with me at the next conference – I would love to hear from you.
You are part of the YAU Prostate Cancer Group and Director of the BURST Research Collaborative. What is the importance of working in these collaborative groups?
I would advise all budding academic urologists to work as part of a collaborative research group. This will allow you to learn from each other, develop ideas that are more likely to be of importance to patient care and most importantly is good fun. It is through the exchange of ideas across different groups that we can truly improve our practice. Even if becoming board members on these groups is not easy, there are now many ways to get involved in projects: see www.bursturology.com or contact the chairs of the YAU groups for ongoing opportunities.
What hobbies do you have outside of work?
I love sports, particularly football and combat sports. I played a lot of football competitively at university but now more socially and am a big Manchester United fan. In combat sports I admire the discipline required to train and get ready for bouts and enjoy watching the excitement of the duels which have you on the edge of your seat.