Events calendar

Converging on cancer seminar series – engineering and physical science to advance cancer research (Bioengineering and Cancer - Pantazis & Au)

25 Nov 2020, 16:00 PM

Please join us for a live webinar on the 25th November 16.00–17.00 (GMT) at which Professor Axel Behrens (Cancer Research UK Convergence Science Centre Scientific Director) is pleased to host Dr Periklis Pantazis and Dr Sam Au. 

Professor Periklis Pantazis – Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College London

Chemical and mechanical interrogation of biological systems…and beyond


Dr Sam Au – Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College London

Microfluidic models for investigating circulating tumour cell behaviours in the microcirculation


As part of its mission to facilitate collaboration between traditionally separate and distinct disciplines to innovate new ways to address challenges in cancer - the Cancer Research UK Convergence Science Centre will be bringing you a series of webinars over the coming months showcasing the expertise and technology of Imperial chemists, bioengineers, physicists and mathematicians. Please join us to inspire consideration of how these novel technologies could be used to shed light on unresolved problems in cancer biology and bring innovative treatment to cancer patients faster.  


Join us for a live webinar on the 25th November 16.00–17.00 (GMT) at which Professor Axel Behrens (Cancer Research UK Convergence Science Centre Scientific Director) is pleased to host Dr Periklis Pantazis and Dr Sam Au.






To receive information about how to access this event please email


Please note: This webinar is exclusively available only to colleagues across the Institute of Cancer Research, Imperial College London, the Royal Marsden Hospital and Imperial College Healthcare. 


About the speakers and presentations: 


Dr Periklis (Laki) Pantazis



Dr Periklis (Laki) Pantazis is a Reader in Advanced Optical Precision Imaging (equiv. Associate Professor) at the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial. He studied Biochemistry at the Leibniz University of Hannover (Hannover, Germany) followed by a PhD in Biology and Bioengineering at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (Dresden, Germany). He then pursued postdoctoral studies at the California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, California) before joining as an Assistant Professor the ETH Zurich Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (Basel, Switzerland). In 2018/2019, he established his Laboratory of Advanced Optical Precision Imaging at Imperial that conceives and applies cutting-edge imaging technologies, assays and reagents for the mechanistic dissecting of development, disease progression and tissue regeneration.


In recent years, advances in imaging probes, microscopy techniques and bioinformatics image analysis have markedly expanded the imaging toolbox available to biomedical researchers. Apart from conventional phenotypic studies, disease progression is increasingly investigated in vivo with improved accuracy in time and space and more detailed quantitative analyses down to the single-cell level. To get more insight into the elaborate chemical and mechanical dynamics that underlie development, his laboratory addresses the growing imaging needs of the community by developing assays, imaging technologies and reagents for carrying out imaging with i) high spatiotemporal resolution at the single-cell level and with ii) sensitivities down to individual proteins. Such newly introduced and future imaging tools can then be used as a means of performing qualitative and quantitative imaging in order to mechanistically dissect development and disease progression. 


Dr Sam Au


Prior to Imperial, Dr Sam Au was a Tosteson Postdoctoral Fellow in the lab of Professor Mehmet Toner at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital where he developed microfluidic models of the microvasculature to investigate how circulating tumour cell clusters traversed the narrow vessels of the body. Dr Au obtained a PhD in Biomedical Engineering while in Professor Aaron Wheeler's group at the University of Toronto in 2013 and a BSc in Chemical Engineering in 2008. Dr Au joined Imperial in 2017 as a lecturer in the Department of Bioengineering. His research group uses lab-on-chip microdevices to gain insights into metastatic cancer. He serves as a co-lead of the Therapy Monitoring Theme of the Convergence Science Centre and is establishing a new Centre-funded Prototyping Core Facility at Imperial.



To explore the ability of CTC clusters to traverse the microcirculation, his lab developed organ-on-chip microfluidic devices designed to mimic human capillaries. Over 90% of clusters containing up to 20 cells successfully traversed constrictions under physiological conditions even in whole blood by reversibly reorganizing into single-file chains. These findings suggest that CTC-clusters contribute a greater role to the dissemination of cancer than previously believed and is leading to new insights into how the microcirculation may be directing metastasis.