Professor Axel Behrens

Scientific Director

Axel Behrens

Professor Axel Behrens is the inaugural Scientific Director of the Cancer Research UK Convergence Science Centre. He joined the Centre in June 2020 as a joint appointment between the Institute of Cancer Research and Imperial College London. He is a well-known international expert in cancer stem cell biology and a major figure in UK cancer research. He completed his PhD in Austria and carried out his postdoctoral studies in Switzerland, before setting up a laboratory at the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute (now part of the Francis Crick Institute) in 2001.


Professor Behrens has also built his credentials in convergence science and is a leading expert in building multidisciplinary partnerships. These include the invention of FLASH microscopy (Fast Light-microscopic analysis of Antibody-Stained wHole organs), a novel 3D imaging platform allowing the analysis of large pieces of tissues or tumours using antibody-mediated staining at single cell resolution. He has also pioneered the use of mathematical modelling to demonstrate how physical and spatial constraints influence pancreatic cancer ductal growth patterns.


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