Postdoctoral Research Scientist – Dr Xiao Fu

Beatson Lab: Integrative Modelling

Project theme: Investigating growth patterns and microenvironments of colorectal liver metastases through computational modelling and spatial data analysis

Starting Salary: £32,868 to £42,717 (Depending on experience), plus relocation allowance and visa costs if required.

Contract Term: Fixed up to 6 years, subject to successful review at Year 3

About us

The CRUK Scotland Institute (formerly the CRUK Beatson Institute) is a world leading cancer research institute, situated in the vibrant city of Glasgow in Scotland and hosting approximately 60 postdoctoral researcher scientists at any one time. It has an excellent reputation for fundamental cancer research, including world-class tissue research and advanced imaging facilities and renowned in vivo modelling of tumour growth and metastasis. The institute has a growing strategic focus and research theme on computational modelling and advanced data analysis including machine learning.

Project outline

We are looking for an enthusiastic and motivated computational scientist to work within the Fu group at the CRUK Scotland Institute.

The Fu group focus on developing integrative computational frameworks for investigating the organisational principles and dynamics of the tumour microenvironment (TME) in solid tumours, including colorectal and pancreatic cancers. We are interested in establishing a variety of methods and tools, such as spatial data analysis pipelines to map architectural features of the TME associated with tumour progression, mathematical and agent-based models to dissect cellular mechanisms for shaping the TME organisation, and statistical and machine learning frameworks to classify subtypes of the TME and to infer molecular regulation mechanisms.

There is a Postdoctoral Research Scientist position available to drive the development of computational methods and tools in the context of colorectal liver metastasis. Classification of desmoplastic and replacement histopathological growth patterns of colorectal liver metastasis has been shown to have potential clinical value. Nevertheless, the combination and sequence of biological processes underlying the formation of distinct growth patterns within the liver microenvironment remain incompletely clarified. In this project, the postdoc will develop mathematical and agent-based modelling frameworks to incorporate tumour-intrinsic and microenvironmental cellular and molecular processes and investigate how these factors collectively shape the formation of different growth patterns. There will be exciting opportunities to integrate computational models with patient data analysis and preclinical experiments, in close collaboration with clinical and experimental research groups at the CRUK Scotland Institute and the School of Cancer Sciences. Alongside computational modelling, the postdoc will have the opportunity to develop spatial data analysis tools to map features of multi-cellular communities and communications using the state-of-the-art single-cell spatial transcriptomics (e.g., Nanostring CosMx) in samples of colorectal liver metastasis.

The successful applicant will be expected to have a PhD in computer science, engineering, mathematics, physics, statistics, or a related discipline. Applicants from biological and experimental backgrounds who are interested in developing computational modelling skills are also encouraged to apply. Experience in mathematical and agent-based modelling of biological systems and/or analysis tools of spatial biology data is highly desirable. The ability to program in C++, Python, or a similar language would be required. Experience with bioimage analysis will be useful.

For informal inquiries about this position, please contact Dr. Xiao Fu at

Postdoc Support

Postdocs are key members of our research community, and we offer them a range of opportunities to train and develop as researchers while they are with us:

  • Exciting, innovative cancer research projects in state-of-the art labs
  • A highly collaborative and interactive research environment
  • Access to and training in key advanced technologies, for example imaging and in vivo modelling
  • A mentor enabling scheme to aid personal and professional development
  • A rich programme of scientific exchange through seminars, workshops and meetings
  • Support to make fellowship and small grant applications, including during their transition to their next position
  • Guidance and mentoring to compete for an independent scientist position as well as a multitude of other career options, including in industry.
  • A highly engaged postdoc forum, providing peer support, training, careers advice and regular social events

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

The diversity of our staff and students is also what makes the Institute such a vibrant place to work and advance discoveries in cancer research. Family friendly policies, our collaborative ethos, a focus on good mental health and well-being and opportunities for all help to create an enjoyable and inclusive workplace where your voice matters.

The Institute is also committed to increasing the number of female scientists at the postdoc level and beyond and encourages female applicants to apply. We have a highly attractive maternity policy which provides 12-18 months support and funding for postdocs wishing to take time off to spend with their children amongst other family friendly policies.

Employee Benefits

  • Competitive salary
  • 40.5 days annual leave including bank holidays (pro-rata).
  • Defined Contribution pension scheme.
  • Life Insurance scheme.
  • Employee Assistance Programme.
  • Season ticket loan.
  • Additional maternity pay at 6 month’s full pay (subject to service).
  • Shared parental leave.
  • Cycle to work scheme that could save you 26-40% on a bike and accessories.
  • Access to Employee benefit schemes with discounts on supermarkets, cinema, travel and much more.
  • On-site secure parking.

Closing Date for Applications: 01 December 2023