Prof. Richard Bayliss


Richard Bayliss graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1997 with a 1st class honours degree in Natural Sciences, in which he specialised in biological, organic and theoretical chemistry. He completed his PhD in molecular biology at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge in 2000 and was elected to a Research Fellowship at Trinity College.  He continued his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Elena Conti at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany, funded by an EMBO Long Term Fellowship , and in the group of Gabriel Waksman in Birkbeck College, London. He established his independent research group at the Institute of Cancer Research in London in 2006, funded by a Royal Society Research Fellowship and Cancer Research UK. Hemoved to the University of Leicester in 2011, as a Reader in the Department of Biochemistry, and in 2014 was promoted to a Chair and awarded the Frank May Prize.  Prof. Bayliss relocated to the University of Leeds in 2016 to take up his current role as Professor of Molecular Medicine and a member of the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology. He became Head of the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology in 2018.


  • Head of the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology

Research interests

Research in the Bayliss lab aims to understand the molecular mechanisms that cause disease and to develop new or improved therapies. We research the protein kinases associated with cancer signalling pathways, the transcription factor Myc, the assembly and function of the spindle assembly, proteostasis and structure-based approaches to drug discovery. We also have interests in synthetic biology, microcephaly and in kinases associated with infectious disease. 

Our work is made possible through the generosity of our colleagues, collaborators and funders. Postdoctoral researchers in the group are funded through a Programme Award from Cancer Research UK and a joint ERC Advanced Award. Our PhD students are funded by MRC, BBSRC, Wellcome Trust and LifeArc. 

To find out more about our research, we recommend recent reviews and research articles written by members of the group.

Kinases and cancer signalling

Sabir SRYeoh SJackson G, Bayliss R (2017) EML4-ALK Variants: Biological and Molecular Properties, and the Implications for Patients. Cancers  9(9). pii: E118. doi: 10.3390/cancers9090118. Review

Woo CG, Seo S, Kim SW, Jang SJ, Park KS, Song JY, Lee B, Richards MW, Bayliss R, Lee DH, Choi J (2017) Differential protein stability and clinical responses of EML4-ALK fusion variants to various ALK inhibitors in advanced ALK-rearranged non-small cell lung cancer. Ann Oncol. 28(4):791-797. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdw693.

Mitotic spindle assembly

Burgess SGMukherjee MSabir S, Joseph N, Gutiérrez-Caballero C, Richards MW, Huguenin-Dezot N, Chin JW, Kennedy EJ, Pfuhl M, Royle SJ, Gergely F, Bayliss R(2018)Mitotic spindle association of TACC3 requires Aurora-A-dependent stabilization of a cryptic α-helix.EMBO J. 37(8). pii: e97902. doi: 10.15252/embj.201797902.

Sampson J, O'Regan L, Dyer MJS, Bayliss R, Fry AM (2017) Hsp72 and Nek6 Cooperate to Cluster Amplified Centrosomes in Cancer Cells. Cancer Res.77(18):4785-4796. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-16-3233.

Bachmann G,  Richards MW, Winter A, Beuron F, Morris E, Bayliss R(2016) A closed conformation of the C. elegansseparase-securin complex. Open Biol.6: 160032.

Haq TRichards MWBurgess SG, Gallego P, Yeoh S, O'Regan L, Reverter D, Roig J, Fry AM, Bayliss R(2015) Mechanistic basis of Nek7 activation through Nek9 binding and induced dimerization. Nat Commun. 6:8771. doi: 10.1038/ncomms9771.


Büchel G, Carstensen A, Mak KY, Roeschert I, Leen E, Sumara O, Hofstetter J, Herold S, Kalb J, Baluapuri A, Poon E, Kwok C, Chesler L, Maric HM, Rickman DS, Wolf E, Bayliss R, Walz S, Eilers M. (2017) Association with Aurora-A Controls N-MYC-Dependent Promoter Escape and Pause Release of RNA Polymerase II during the Cell Cycle. Cell Rep. 21:3483-3497. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.11.090.

Bayliss R, Burgess SGLeen ERichards MW (2017) A moving target: structure and disorder in pursuit of Myc inhibitors.Biochem Soc Trans. 45(3):709-717. doi: 10.1042/BST20160328. Review.

Richards MWBurgess SG, Poon E, Carstensen A, Eilers M, Chesler L, Bayliss R (2016) Structural basis of N-Myc binding by Aurora-A and its destabilization by kinase inhibitors. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA.113:13726-13731.

Proteostasis and molecular chaperones

Richards MW, Law EP, Rennalls LP, Busacca S, O'Regan L, Fry AM, Fennell DA, Bayliss R (2014) Crystal structure of EML1 reveals the basis for Hsp90 dependence of oncogenic EML4-ALK by disruption of an atypical b-propeller domain. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA111:5195-200. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1322892111. 

Joshi A, Newbatt Y, McAndrew PC, Stubbs M, Burke R, Richards MW, Caldwell JJ, McHardy T, Collins I, Bayliss R (2015)Molecular mechanisms of human IRE1 activation through dimerization and ligand binding. Oncotarget 6(15):13019-35.

Structure-based drug discovery

McIntyre PJ, Collins PM, Vrzal L, Birchall K, Arnold LH, Mpamhanga C, Coombs PJ, Burgess SGRichards MWWinter A, Veverka V, Delft FV, Merritt A, Bayliss R (2017). Characterization of Three Druggable Hot-Spots in the Aurora-A/TPX2 Interaction Using Biochemical, Biophysical, and Fragment-Based Approaches. ACS Chem. Biol. doi: 10.1021/acschembio.7b00537.

Coxon CR, Wong C, Bayliss R, Boxall K, Carr KH, Fry AM, Hardcastle IR, Matheson CJ, Newell DR, Sivaprakasam M, Thomas H, Turner D, Yeoh S, Wang LZ, Griffin RJ, Golding BT, Cano C. (2017) Structure-guided design of purine-based probes for selective Nek2 inhibition. Oncotarget 8(12):19089-19124. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.13249.

Burgess SG, Oleksy A, Cavazza T, Richards MW, Vernos I, Matthews D, Bayliss R (2016) Allosteric inhibition of Aurora-A kinase by a synthetic vNAR domain. Open Biol. 6:160089. 

Microcephaly and infectious disease

Chavali PL, Stojic L, Meredith LW, Joseph N, Nahorski MS, Sanford TJ, Sweeney 

TR, Krishna BA, Hosmillo M, Firth AE, Bayliss R, Marcelis CL, Lindsay S, Goodfellow I, Woods CG, Gergely F (2017) Neurodevelopmental protein Musashi-1 interacts with the Zika genome and promotes viral replication. Science.2017 357(6346):83-88.

Flayhan A, Bergé C, Baïlo N, Doublet P, Bayliss R, and Terradot L (2015) The structure of Legionella pneumophila LegK4 type four secretion system (T4SS) effector reveals a novel dimeric eukaryotic-like kinase. Scientific Reports5:14602. doi: 10.1038/srep14602.

Synthetic and chemical biology

Rennie YK, McIntyre PJAkindele T, Bayliss R, Jamieson AG (2016)A TPX2 Proteomimetic Has Enhanced Affinity for Aurora-A Due to Hydrocarbon Stapling of a Helix.ACS Chem. Biol. 11(12):3383-3390.

Rogerson D, Sachdeva A, Wang K, Haq T, Kazlauskaite A, Muqit MMK, Fry AM, Bayliss R, Chin J (2015) Efficient and site-specific incorporation of phosphoserine and its non-hydrolyzable analog. Nat. Chem. Biol.11:496-503.

Cancer Research

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • MA (Cambridge)
  • PhD (Cambridge)

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>