Deputy Director

Congratulations to Professor Jim Norman who has been appointed as the Deputy Director of the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, with immediate effect.

Jim, who has been at the Beatson since October 2005, will support Owen Sansom in his role as Director as well as continuing to be a key member of our senior management team.

Prior to joining the Beatson, Jim was a Lecturer at Leicester University and also held several postdoc positions at a number of highly acclaimed universities including Cambridge and UCL. Jim's research is internationally recognised as being at the forefront in the field of integrin recycling and cell motility, and he will continue to lead his group in this important area of research.

Research Scientist post available with Prof Jim Norman & Prof Owen Sansom

New Institute Director appointed

We are delighted to announce that Professor Owen Sansom has been appointed as the next Director of the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, with immediate effect. Owen has been Interim Director for the past year, since the departure of Karen Vousden to take up the role of Chief Scientist of CRUK. Everyone at the Beatson Institute joins in congratulating Owen on this appointment and looks forward to working with him to drive the Institute to ever greater levels of success.


Profile of Professor Sansom

In a research career spanning just 16 years, Owen has already published over 235 papers and made major contributions to understanding some of the key molecular drivers of epithelial cancer.

Owen received his PhD from the University of Edinburgh in 2001 before continuing his postdoctoral research using in vivo models of cancer at the University of Cardiff. In 2005, he established his own laboratory at the CRUK Beatson Institute in Glasgow. Since then, Owen has been instrumental in determining the molecular hallmarks of colorectal cancer. This has included defining the roles of the tumour suppressor protein APC and the WNT signalling pathway as well as the involvement of intestinal stem cells in tumourigenesis. His laboratory uses both in vivo and 3D in vitro models to recapitulate colorectal and pancreatic cancers to investigate the molecular mechanisms underpinning tumourigenesis and to identify novel drug targets. More recently, Owen's work in pancreatic cancer has focused on using in vivo models to stratify patient therapy and to understand how combinatorial therapies targeting both the tumour and surrounding tissues may lead to better therapies.

Owen has also played an important leadership and management role at the CRUK Beatson Institute, particularly in ensuring its researchers are able to access the most sophisticated genetically engineered models of cancer. In 2011, he was appointed Deputy Director of the Institute and has been acting as Interim Director since July 2016. He also leads the CRUK Glasgow Centre, which aims to translate findings from the laboratory into the clinic for the benefit of cancer patients.

In 2007, Owen won the BACR/AstraZeneca Young Scientist Frank Rose Award in recognition of his contributions to translational cancer research and in 2012 he was awarded the CRUK Future Leaders in Cancer Research Prize for his outstanding achievements. He was also elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2012 and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2017.

Utrecht Biology Association visit

Earlier this week, we were delighted to welcome undergraduate students from the Utrecht Biology Association (UBV) to the Institute. Laura Machesky, Dave Bryant, Sara Zanivan and Alexei Vazquez gave talks about their career paths and current research. The students then toured the building and had lunch with PhD students Anh Le, Sarah Jane Remak and Jiska van der Reest. We hope the students found their visit interesting - we certainly enjoyed the lively discussions with them and hope they enjoy rest of their visit to Scotland.

Foreign travel committee UBV (Utrecht's Biologists Association)

Communications & Brand Ambassador Prize

Congratulations to Dr Emma Shanks, head of our Functional Screening facility, who has been recognised by CRUK as an inspiring communicator of its research. Professor Karen Vousden, CRUK Chief Scientist explains why Emma is such a worthy winner of this Communications & Brand Ambassador Prize here.

emma shanks communications and brand ambassador prize 200px

Winning image features in CRUK 'Science Snaps' series

A striking image from one of our postdocs, Dr Jean-Philippe Parvy, which shows a montage of the fruit fly Drosophila fat body, has won the inaugural Beatson Adavance Imaging Resource (BAIR) imaging competition and is featured as part of CRUK's 'Science Snaps' series on their science blog. Read about the science behind Jean-Philippe's winning image here:

The image also features in our 2016 annual report.

parvy image

PRECISION-Panc network receives major investment

Cancer Research has announced today (24 March 2017) that it will be investing £10M in pancreatic cancer studies being led by researchers here at the Beatson and the University of Glasgow, and in collaboration with scientists and clinicians in Cambridge, Manchester, Oxford and the ICR in London. This investment in the PRECISION-Panc network will support two clinical trials, preclinical work, assay development, biomarker work and a large amount of molecular sequencing.

See more details here:

CRUK Website:


Press release:


lab image 2017 2

Read more about the Research Groups working at the Beatson Institute.



lab image 2017

Find out more about our seminars including our Distinguished Seminar Programme.