Cancer Research Centre of Excellence (CRCE)

The Cancer Research Centre of Excellence (CRCE) is a strategic partnership between Imperial College London and the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), London, to drive forward advances in the detection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Established in May 2016, CRCE harnesses the complementary expertise of both partner organisations bringing together critical mass and excellence from across all Imperial faculties with world-leading basic and translational scientists from ICR.

The CRCE vision is to improve the quality of life of cancer patients and populations through research. It will cement and expand inter-institutional collaborations by uniting diverse disciplines such as engineering, chemistry, computing and physics with cancer scientists, oncologists and surgeons.

The CRCE will:

The CRCE website is currently under development and further details about CRCE activities will be updated in due course.

CRCE Funding Opportunities, Collaborative Pilot Projects call and Membership Expression of Interest

2018 CRCE PhD projects


Following a competition for projects over the summer, the CRCE Board approved at its September meeting the first round of joint studentships. Twenty three applications for interdisciplinary studentships were received. The four awarded were:

ICR Registered Projects (2):

To apply to the ICR registered projects, please visit here.

  • Ultrasound backscatter assessment of tumour response to radiotherapy using finite element model-based attenuation and diffraction corrections.
    Dr Emma Harris (ICR) and Dr Peter Huthwaite (Imperial)
  • Short-pulse ultrasound delivery of chemotherapeutic agents across the blood-brain barrier for the treatment of diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPGs)
    Professor Gail ter Haar (ICR) and Dr James Choi (Imperial)

Imperial Regisered Projects (2):
For Imperial registered projects, please contact the supervisor directly providing CV and motivation letter.

  • Nanotopographical effects on transcriptional regulation and nuclear morphology to inform strategies against cancer
    Professor Molly Stevens (Imperial) and Dr Chris Bakal (ICR)
  • Protein S-acylation: Understanding and exploiting a critical vulnerability of metastatic pancreatic cancer
    Professor Ed Tate (Imperial) and Professor Julian Downward (ICR)

Closing dates for applications are in November, with students expected to start in October 2018. 

CRCE 2017 Collaborative pilot project grants


In March 2017, the CRCE Board launched a funding competition to support pilot project to facilitate inter-institutional collaboration between the partners. Twenty one applications were received from which a Panel recommended seven projects for funding, each up to £30k in value over a 12 month period.

The CRCE Board ratified the funding recommendations; the successful projects were:

  • A novel lab-on-chip system for detecting residual or recurrent tumour after surgical excision in patients with cervical cancer
    Georgiou (Imperial), Da Souza (ICR), Manzano (Imperial) & Ind (ICR)
  • Extracellular vesicular-based liquid biopsy to detect hypoxia in tumours
    Stevens (Imperial), Yarnold (ICR) & Somaiah (Imperial)
  • Targeting cancer-reactive regulatory T-cells for precision immunotherapy
    Ono (ICR), Harrington (ICR), Melcher (ICR), Georgiou (Imperial)
  • Real time Monte Carlo photon dose calculation for adaptive radiotherapy; the data flow computing approach
    Oeflke (ICR), Luk (Imperial) & Ziegenhein (ICR) 
  • Spatio-temporal dynamics of the glioma invasive margin
    Yuan (ICR) & Parinello (Imperial)
  • Rapid non-invasive, deep tissue ultrasound ablation technology for the treatment of pancreatic cancer - proof of concept
    Ter Haar (ICR), Tang (Imperial), Da Souza (ICR), Banerji (ICR) & Choi (Imperial)
  • Development of radiolabelled peptide specific for Glypican-3 for imaging hepatocellular cancer
    Sharma (Imperial), Smith (ICR), Oyen (ICR) & Aboagye (Imperial)

Membership expression of interest


To increase awareness of the potential expertise and resources available for cancer research across the partnership and to establish a conduit by which to inform researchers about opportunities, the CRCE Board wishes to collate information from researchers across the partnership who would like to get involved and benefit from the CRCE.

Researchers from across Imperial and ICR are therefore invited to submit the following Expression of Interest form, which will enable:

  • the CRCE Board to create a mailing list in relation to future CRCE events and initiatives,
  • development of a directory of CRCE expertise and resources

Download the CRCE Membership Expression of Interest.doc

CRCE Governance and partner links

Professor Paul Workman

CRCE governance

Governance of the CRCE is the joint responsibility of Imperial and ICR.

The CRCE Board is responsible for overseeing the strategy, day-to-day operations and delivery of the CRCE Vision. Its membership comprises:

  • Professor Paul Workman FRS (ICR; CRCE Director) 
  • Professor Bissan Al-Lazikani (ICR)
  • Professor Raj Chopra (ICR)  
  • Professor Charles Coombes (Imperial; CRCE Head of Cancer Research at Imperial)
  • Professor Ara Darzi FRS (Imperial) 
  • Professor Kevin Harrington (ICR) 
  • Professor Uwe Oelfke (ICR)           
  • Professor Gavin Screaton (Imperial) 
  • Dr Mengxing Tang (Imperial) 
  • Professor Ed Tate (Imperial)
ICR Imperial

Find out more

Find out more about the Institute of Cancer Research at www.icr.ac.uk

Find out more about cancer research at Imperial at www.imperial.ac.uk/medicine/research-and-impact/themes/cancer/