Dr Richard Bryan MBChB PhD MRCS

Dr Richard Bryan

Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
Senior Research Fellow

Contact details

Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
Robert Aitken Institute for Clinical Research
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Rik Bryan qualified in Medicine at the University of Birmingham and subsequently entered surgical training. After completing a PhD in bladder cancer biology he became a Specialist Registrar in Urology. After 3-years as a Specialist Registrar, Rik left clinical urology to assist with the set-up of the Bladder Cancer Prognosis Programme in the Department of Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Birmingham, and was then subsequently appointed as a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Cancer Sciences. Rik is now the Chief Investigator of the Bladder Cancer Prognosis Programme, which incorporates the SELENIB clinical trial.

Rik has an interest in all aspects of bladder cancer, from optical technologies and surgical techniques to biomarker discovery and molecular pathways. His particular interests are narrow band imaging cystoscopy, urinary biomarkers, and cadherin biology, and he has a track record of publication in these specific areas.


  • PhD in Medical Science July 2007 (University of Birmingham)
  • Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (MRCS) June 1999
  • MBChB July 1995 (University of Birmingham)


Rik studied Medicine at the University of Birmingham from 1990-95. After qualifying he worked as a House Officer at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital and The Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Following his year of house jobs, Rik was appointed to a one year post as a Temporary Lecturer in Anatomy (“Anatomy Demonstrator”) and commenced work for Membership of The Royal College of Surgeons of England (MRCS). In 1997 Rik became a basic Surgical Trainee, and spent six-month posts as Senior House Officer in Trauma and Orthopaedics, Paediatric Surgery, General Surgery, Urology, Renal Transplant Surgery and Vascular Surgery. He was awarded MRCS in June 1999.

Following completion of his Basic Surgical Training, Rik entered research and was appointed as a Urology Research Registrar at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, supervised by Professor Nick James and Mr. Mike Wallace and with responsibility for Astra-Zeneca’s “Capri” trial in prostate cancer. During this time, Rik was awarded an MRC Research Training Fellowship and commenced a PhD project entitled “the molecular pathogenesis of local invasion of transitional cell carcinoma of the human urinary bladder: the role of cadherins, catenins, and catenin-regulated transcription”, supervised by Professor Janusz Jankowski and Mr. Mike Wallace. His PhD was awarded in July 2007.

Rik returned to clinical urology as a Specialist Registrar in October 2003, with postings at The County Hospital, Hereford, and The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham. During this time, and alongside his colleagues Mr. Mike Wallace, Professor KK Cheng, Professor Maurice Zeegers, and Professor Nick James, he also commenced writing a bladder cancer research programme grant that was subsequently funded £2million by Cancer Research UK to become the Bladder Cancer Prognosis Programme (BCPP). Rik spent time “out of programme” in 2005 and 2006 to assist with the set-up of this ambitious programme of research, and then left clinical urology in 2007 to concentrate on bladder cancer research as a Research Fellow in the Department of Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics. As BCPP expanded, and as the basic science and translational research opportunities grew, Rik was appointed as a Senior Research Fellow by the School of Cancer Sciences in May 2009. In January 2011, with BCPP having recruited over 1500 patients, Rik took up the role as BCPP Chief Investigator.

Rik has a broad bladder cancer interest, reflected by his publications and a number of productive collaborations with colleagues within the School of Cancer Sciences and beyond. These include improving optical diagnosis and bladder cancer treatment (eg. narrow band imaging), biomarker discovery (utilising proteomics, metabolomics, and next generation sequencing), tumour immunology, and pathway-based cell biology (eg. cadherin switching, cancer stem cells). As well as his own research, Rik also sits on the steering committees of a number of international clinical trials, and is a reviewer for a number of urology and basic science journals.


Lead Teacher
• MBChB Year 2 - Student Project 1 “Cancers of the Urogenital Tract - Background, Controversies, and Future Directions”

• MSc - Clinical Oncology “Novel Interventions in Bladder Cancer”
• MBChB Year 2 - Cancer: Causes to Cures “Genetic Basis of Cancer”


Biomarker discovery:
• Proteomic and metabolomic analyses of the urine
• Tissue array based immunohistochemical analyses of multiple molecular markers
• Next generation sequencing of tumour tissue.

Bladder tumour Immunology:
• Basic science and responses to BCG therapy.

Pathway-based research:
• Investigation of the potential links between cadherin switching and bladder cancer stem cells
• Tumour hypoxia pathways.

Narrow band imaging cystoscopy:
• Trial-based investigation of the utility of NBI in bladder tumour resection and subsequent disease surveillance.

Other activities

Rik enjoys many sports, including running, cycling, skiing, and tennis. He is an avid fan of motorsport, following Formula One closely and establishing his own international endurance sportscar racing team which competed very successfully in the GT1 and GT2 categories of endurance racing from 2006-2009 with many podiums and victories, and finishing the legendary Le Mans 24-hour race four times.


RT Bryan, LJ Billingham, DMA Wallace. Narrow band imaging flexible cystoscopy in the detection of recurrent urothelial cancer of the bladder. BJU International 2008; 101: 702-5.

RT Bryan, P Atherfold, Y Yeo, RF Harrison, DMA Wallace, JA Jankowski. Cadherin switching dictates the biology of transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder: ex vivo and in vitro studies. J Pathol 2008; 215: 184-194.

RT Bryan, MP Zeegers, ND James, DMA Wallace, KK Cheng. Biomarkers in Bladder Cancer. BJU International 2010; 105: 608-13.

MP Zeegers, RT Bryan, C Langford, L Billingham, P Murray, NS Deshmukh, S Hussain, N James, DMA Wallace, KK Cheng. The West Midlands Bladder Cancer Prognosis Programme: Rationale and Design. BJU International 2010; 105: 784-88.

RT Bryan, ZH Shah, SI Collins, DMA Wallace. Narrow band imaging flexible cystoscopy: a new user’s experience. J Endourol 2010; 24: 1339-43.

RT Bryan, SI Collins, MC Daykin, MP Zeegers, KK Cheng, DMA Wallace, GM Sole. Mechanisms of recurrence of Ta/T1 bladder cancer. Ann R Coll Surg Engl 2010; 92: 519-24.

RT Bryan and C Tselepis. Cadherin switching and bladder cancer. Journal of Urology 2010; 184: 423-31.

RT Bryan. Bladder cancer and cancer stem cells: basic science and implications for therapy. Scientific World Journal 2011; 11: 1187-94.