The Cancer Research UK Convergence Science Centre was established as a strategic partnership between Imperial College London and The Institute of Cancer Research, London. 


The mission of the Centre is to bring together engineering, physical sciences, life sciences and medicine to develop innovative ways to address challenges in cancer research to benefit cancer patients. This is achieved through multidisciplinary collaborations that integrate otherwise distinct approaches to co-create new tools, technologies and methodologies. It is underpinned by a Major Centre award from Cancer Research UK, which provides the funding to create step changes in cancer research to address unmet medical needs in all cancers, particularly those that are hard to treat.


Directed by Professor Axel Behrens, the Convergence Science Centre brings together two of the UK’s leading academic research organisations to create a closely integrated and sustainable partnership. ICR’s vision (to ‘make the discoveries that defeat cancer’) and Imperial’s (‘to achieve enduring excellence in research and education in science, engineering, medicine and business for the benefit of society’) are highly complementary – a key factor that underpins our powerful and synergistic strategic alliance.

With a remit to work across the entirety of both the ICR and Imperial, the Centre fosters new opportunities for collaboration between researchers at the two institutions and to support the clinical translation of novel cancer technologies and therapeutics. Over the first grant period, the aim is to build the collaborative network, leverage additional funding and establish key translational infrastructure to accelerate clinical implementation of new approaches.


Since 2022, the Centre has merged with the CRUK Imperial Centre and the CRUK ICR Centre, giving rise to renewed CRUK Convergence Science Centre. Our mission remains to accelerate the development of ground-breaking cancer technologies across our partnering institutions. The CRUK Convergence Science Centre will spearhead pioneering research, with a strong emphasis on implementation and clinical adoption. Our collective efforts aim to translate discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and healthcare providers.


Our founding co-directors


In 2016, the ICR and Imperial came together to establish the Cancer Research Centre of Excellence under the direction of Professor Paul Workman and Professor The Lord Ara Darzi of Denham. This partnership was formed to create critical mass for multidisciplinary inter-institutional collaboration, to improve quality of life for cancer patients. Thanks to the leadership and vision of Professors Workman and Darzi, the Cancer Research Centre of Excellence laid the foundations for the successful award of a CRUK Major Centre and the establishment of the Cancer Research UK Convergence Science Centre.



innovative ways

to address the toughest 

challenges in cancer 

  • UK’s first convergence science centre officially launches

    Two of the UK’s foremost academic research institutions, The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and Imperial College London, are coming together with funding from Cancer Research UK to launch the new £13 million centre.
  • Cancer drug discovery technologies get a £4.5m boost

    Improving imaging technologies for cancer drug discovery with a £4.5 m Cancer Research UK Accelerator Award collaboration between Imperial College London, the Francis Crick Institute, the University of Edinburgh, the Institute of Cancer Research and the Instituto de Recerca Biomedica in Barcelona.