Professor 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.