Dr David Bryant - Epithelial Polarity


Bryant head 012

Our lab focuses on a fundamental, yet largely unanswered question: How is the normal organisation of tissue disrupted to allow cells to form disarrayed tumours?

Cells of many tissues are polarised - that is that cells collectively form configurations tailored to the needs of a tissue. During tumourigenesis, this exquisite organisation is lost. Despite loss of tissue polarity being an obligate event in cancer progression, we know little about this basic process.


bryant model of polarity

We use mini-avatars of tumours ex vivo to understand how cells collectively organise. Our efforts are focused on prostate, colorectal and ovarian cancers. We take two approaches to unravel the complexity of this process:
1) Building new tools to analyse tumour avatars ex vivo
2) Identifying the signalling processes that drive collective tumour invasion and metastasis.
We collaborate extensively for a multi-disciplinary approach to understand tumour metastasis (Sansom, Zanivan, Blyth, Leung, Miller Labs).

To develop better tools to understand how tumour cells loose polarity, we have developed cutting-edge, high-content microscopy and computational image analysis of tumour spheroids and organoids. Molecularly, we focus on two pathways: the ARF GTPases (and their regulators and effectors, which we call the 'ARF regulome'), and the role of the cell surface protein, Podocalyxin. Both molecules are highly overexpressed in metastatic prostate cancer tumours.

Our ultimate aim is to investigate such changes in cell polarity as potential future biomarkers of cancer in patients, and possible targets for future therapeutic interventions.

Cell scientist to watch − David Bryant

Click here to read David's interview with the Journal of Cell Science.

University of Glasgow- Colour
University of Glasgow webpage

Google Scholar Account

 Other funding: