Professor McGurk is a Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial and Head and Neck Surgeon, part of the North London Head and Neck Cancer Group and provides a specialist service in oral and head and neck cancer, reconstruction and salivary gland disease. He is past president of the British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and past editor of the British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
He studied at Sheffield University before undertaking junior posts in oral and maxillofacial surgery and a six month period visiting maxillofacial units in the United States. Professor McGurk later returned to Sheffield to complete his medical degree.
Professor McGurk has completed significant research in his field and focused on the early diagnosis of head and neck cancer, complications of surgery, and the use of minimally invasive surgery for head and neck cancer. He has written two books on salivary disease and influenced the practice of salivary gland surgery to move from excision to gland preservation. He also led a European trial on sentinel node biopsy which led to a 75% reduction in neck dissection for early mouth cancers. In addition, he developed a new way to treat odontogenic tumours (ameloblastoma) which preserves the mandible and normal facial appearance.
Professor McGurk lectures at national and international conferences and runs classes on salivary gland surgery in London, Paris and Erlangen for Maxillofacial and ENT Consultants.