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Professor Bryan F Warren: an appreciation (15 April 1958–28 March 2012)
  1. Neil A Shepherd1,
  2. Marco R Novelli2,
  3. Geraint T Williams3
  1. 1Gloucestershire Cellular Pathology Laboratory, Cheltenham, UK
  2. 2University College London, London, UK
  3. 3Department of Pathology, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Neil A Shepherd, Gloucestershire Cellular Pathology Laboratory, Cheltenham General Hospital, Sandford Road, Cheltenham GL53 7AN, UK; neil.shepherd{at}

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Bryan Warren, that most unique of gastrointestinal pathologists, died at home on 28 March 2012 at the cruelly young age of 53. It is a sad irony that he died of a complication of Crohn's disease, a condition about which he was a world expert. He fought his intestinal cancer with remarkable stoicism for 5 years and would accept any treatment oncologists were prepared to throw at him, sadly, in the end, to no avail.

Bryan was born in Cheshire and was proud to have been educated in state schools in Nantwich. He read Medicine at the University of Liverpool. There he developed a great interest in gastroenterology, partly driven, no doubt, by his own diagnosis of Crohn's disease in early childhood. Initially, he trained in gastroenterology in the North West and developed a particular fascination with endoscopy, something that paved the way for his remarkable reputation for integrating endoscopic appearances with those down the microscope and eventually led to him enlightening a generation of endoscopists. Luckily for his fellow histopathologists, MRCP exams were not his strong point and this ensured that he transferred to Pathology. How pleasing it was for Bryan, therefore, to be elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, without examination, 20 years later, in 2007. We know that was a very proud moment for him.

There were some real characters in Pathology on Merseyside in the mid-1980s and this ensured that Bryan was caught, hook, line and sinker. Later, his training was undertaken in Bristol, especially with Jack Davies and John Bradfield. He made some great friends in fellow trainees there, especially Howard Rigby, who was to remain a lifelong close …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.