Professor Wilson completed his medical degree at the Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), then worked in N. Ireland and Scotland as a junior doctor during which he engaged in three years of basic science research in colorectal cancer in QUB. He subsequently trained in clinical oncology in N. Ireland achieving UK accreditation, and then participated in a Visiting Fellowship at the National Cancer Institute in the USA. There he received specialist training in medical oncology, early phase clinical trials, gastro-intestinal cancer, clinical pharmacology and drug development. He was jointly appointed as a Consultant and Senior Lecturer between the regional Cancer Centre in the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and in the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology in QUB in 2001. Following this, he set up the first early phase cancer clinical trials programme on the island of Ireland, and also set up the regional N. Ireland Cancer Trials Network. He was Clinical Director of this regional network and also of the Belfast Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre until 2019. He was previously Chair of the UK National Cancer Research Institute Colorectal Clinical Studies Group.
In 2019, he moved to the University of Glasgow where he is Professor of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology. He is an Honorary Consultant in Medical Oncology in the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre where he works in gastrointestinal cancer (mainly colorectal cancer but also in small bowel cancer and peritoneal malignancies) and he conducts biological and translational research in these diseases in the School of Cancer Sciences in the University of Glasgow. He specialises in cancer drug development and is the Chief Investigator on multiple local, national and international phase I, II and III cancer clinical trials.