Professor Stephen Hillier

Steve HillierName:
Stephen Gilbert Hillier OBE FRCPath FRCOG

Professor Emeritus
Honorary Professorial Fellow


Curriculum Vitae

Summary CV

Contact Details:
Tel: +44(0)7704992862
Fax: +44(0)131 242 6441

University Leadership

I retired as Vice Principal International on 1 November 2014, having led the University of Edinburgh’s Internationalisation Strategy EDINBURGH GLOBAL, since December 2008.

Research Aims & Outputs

I remain interested in the molecular and cellular events that regulate ovulation, with emphasis on steroid hormone physiology and pharmacology. My research output has broadly impacted reproductive health, including fertility regulation and major disease processes such as ovarian cancer. I have helped explain why women normally ovulate only one egg in each menstrual cycle, leading to the design of safer and more effective methods for stimulating ovarian function.

Over 200 academic publications, including national award-winning medical textbook of the year (1996) ‘Scientific Essentials of Reproductive Medicine’


Research Grants

I have received major research grant support from UK Research Councils, charitable trusts and the European Commission, totalling approx. £5.5.

Current: MRC Developmental Clinical Studies
Title: Reversing endometrial glucocorticoid deficiency in heavy menstrual bleeding.
Investigators: Prof HOD Critchley, Prof BR Walker, Dr P Warner, Dr C Weir, Prof JP Iredale,
Prof PTK Saunders, Dr S Semple, Prof SG Hillier

Recent publications

Ren X, Wu X, Hillier SG, Fegan KS, Critchley HO, Mason JI, Sarvi S, Harlow CR. Local estrogen metabolism in epithelial ovarian cancer suggests novel targets for therapy. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2015 Jun;150:54-63. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2015.03.010. Epub 2015 Mar 24. PMID: 2581782.

Warner P, Weir CJ, Hansen CH, Douglas A, Madhra M, Hillier SG, Saunders PT, Iredale JP, Semple S, Walker BR, Critchley HO. Low-dose dexamethasone as a treatment for women with heavy menstrual bleeding: protocol for response-adaptive randomised placebo-controlled dose-finding parallel group trial (DexFEM).
BMJ Open. 2015 Jan 14;5(1):e006837. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006837. PMID: 25588784


Johnson N, Walker K, Gibson LJ, Orr N, Folkerd E, Haynes B, Palles C, CouplandB, Schoemaker M, Jones M, Broderick P, Sawyer E, Kerin M, Tomlinson IP, Zvelebil M, Chilcott-Burns S, Tomczyk K, Simpson G, Williamson J, Hillier SG, Ross G,Houlston RS, Swerdlow A, Ashworth A, Dowsett M, Peto J, Dos Santos Silva I, Fletcher O. CYP3A variation, premenopausal estrone levels, and breast cancerrisk. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2012 May 2;104(9):657-69. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djs156. Epub 2012 Apr 3. PubMed PMID: 22472546.

Hillier SG. Nonovarian origins of ovarian cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Mar 6;109(10):3608-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1201029109. Epub 2012 Feb 22. PubMed PMID: 22357760; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3309793.

Hillier SG. Modern methods of fertility preservation: a tribute to Roger Gosden. Mol Hum Reprod. 2012 Feb;18(2):57-8. doi: 10.1093/molehr/gas003. PubMedPMID: 22287563.

Dickinson RE, Fegan KS, Ren X, Hillier SG, Duncan WC. Glucocorticoid regulation of SLIT/ROBO tumour suppressor genes in the ovarian surface epithelium and ovarian cancer cells. PLoS One. 2011;6(11):e27792. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027792. Epub 2011 Nov 23. PubMed PMID: 22132142; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3223191.

Papacleovoulou G, Critchley HO, Hillier SG, Mason JI. IL1α and IL4 signalling in human ovarian surface epithelial cells. J Endocrinol. 2011 Dec;211(3):273-83. doi: 10.1530/JOE-11-0081. Epub 2011 Sep 8. PubMed PMID: 21903865.

Wells D, Hillier SG. Polar bodies: their biological mystery and clinical meaning. Mol Hum Reprod. 2011 May;17(5):273-4. doi: 10.1093/molehr/gar028. PubMedPMID: 23443970.

Betts DH, Kalionis B, Hillier SG. Stem cell roles in reproduction: what is the basic science? Mol Hum Reprod. 2010 Nov;16(11):791-2. doi: 10.1093/molehr/gaq078. Epub 2010 Sep 12. PubMed PMID: 20837505.

Hillier SG, Smitz J, Eichenlaub-Ritter U. Folliculogenesis and oogenesis: from basic science to the clinic. Mol Hum Reprod. 2010 Sep;16(9):617-20. doi: 10.1093/molehr/gaq068. Epub 2010 Aug 6. PubMed PMID: 20693269.

Hillier SG. Molecular diagnosis in the ART laboratory: making it matter. Mol Hum Reprod. 2010 Aug;16(8):511-2. doi: 10.1093/molehr/gaq050. Epub 2010 Jul 7.PubMed PMID: 20610615.

External Roles

  • Member, Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (HFEA) (1990-6)
  • Chairman, Society for Endocrinology (1996-2000)
  • Editor-in-Chief, JOURNAL OF ENDOCRINOLOGY (2000-4)
  • Editor-in-Chief, MOLECULAR HUMAN REPRODUCTION (2007-12)
  • Member, UK Council of Graduate Education Executive Committee (2000-6)
  • Member, Overseas Research Scholarships Committee (Universities UK) (2002-5)
  • Member, Wellcome Trust Physiological Sciences Committee (2005-7, 2011)
  • Member, MRC Training and Career Development Board (2007-2009)
  • Member, MRC Training and Career Group (2009-12)