Member Spotlight: Dr Deborah Wright

Dr Deborah Wright is a General and Colorectal Surgeon. Deborah completed her undergraduate medical degree in the UK, before relocating to Aotearoa New Zealand in 2003. She undertook training in General Surgery and a PhD in the molecular biology of colorectal cancer in AoNZ, followed by sub-specialty training in colorectal surgery.

Deborah is a member of the Lower GI Working Party and convenor of the Neoadjuvant Treatment in Rectal Cancer Idea Generation Workshop.

We sat down with Deborah as she shared with us career achievements, how she became involved in the AGITG and her favourite cuisine!


What inspired you to become a surgeon?

The example of great mentors and because it is the most enjoyable and rewarding way to spend my days. It is a great privilege to enjoy your job as much as I enjoy mine.

What achievement are you most proud of?

Completing my PhD and sub-specialty training with three small children and all contributions I make, however small, to the changing culture of surgery.

Why did you become involved in the AGITG?

I became involved with AGITG because we’ve got to continue to continue pursue better outcomes for people with GI cancer.

Are there particular areas of GI cancer research that you believe hold most promise for the future?

I’m very excited by the work that is currently being done to improve outcomes for people with rectal cancer through the optimization of total neoadjuvant therapy protocols. However, it is also imperative that we don’t lose sight of the importance of ensuring equity of access to ensure optimal outcomes for all patients, particularly Indigenous people.

Why did you choose to become part of the AGITG Lower GI Working Party?

To learn more about the clinical trial environment in Australia and New Zealand, to ensure that my understanding of clinical developments in GI cancer care is as up to date as possible, and to contribute a surgical point of view when new trials are considered.

If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?

My extended family.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

  • Curry
  • Rice
  • Salad

What are your top three hobbies?

  • Gardening
  • Reading
  • Travel