Robert Kirby qualified from Birmingham University in 1977. He underwent surgical training in London, Surrey and West Midlands. He was appointed Consultant Surgeon to University Hospital of North Midlands in 1991. For many years he was active with both breast and colorectal cancer treatments, working with both MDTS, but is now concentrating on breast cancer. He has a major role in undergraduate teaching and is UHNM Hospital Dean and Professor of Clinical Education and Surgery at Keele University. He has been a member of BASO (British Association of Surgical Oncology) since being a senior trainee, enjoying the wider involvement of different surgical subspecialties and surgical oncology. He has been a Trustee and National Council member, Hon Treasurer and Vice President before becoming President in 2017.