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Postdoctoral Research Scientist: Advanced Modelling Methods to Infer Biology from Microscopic Tumour Images

The Beatson Institute for Cancer Research

Location: Glasgow
Salary: £31,604 to £41,929 Starting salary epending on experience, plus relocation allowance where appropriate.
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 6th November 2020
Closes: 13th December 2020

Professor John Le Quesne

Initial 3 year fixed term contract.

Would you like to develop your scientific career in a research institute that is founded on the quality of its people, acknowledged for its collaborative environment and designed to promote the development of the most outstanding and dedicated scientists?  Many early career researchers have already made that decision and at present over 100 of them are now benefiting from our excellent training programme. 

The Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute supports cutting edge research into the molecular mechanisms of cancer development and is one of the leading research institutes in Europe. The Institute provides an outstanding research environment, underpinned by state-of-the-art core services and advanced technologies, with special emphasis on imaging, metabolomics, and in vivo models.

Our innovative and ambitious research themes focus on understanding the regulation of the tumour microenvironment and cancer metabolism, in particular:

  • Intrinsic cancer cell vulnerabilities caused by cell growth
  • Interplay between the tumour microenvironment, metastasis and recurrence
  • Biology of early disease, aimed at developing a ‘Precision Prevention’ approach

The Le Quesne laboratory has a world-class track record in tissue-based studies of solid malignancy, and combines large tumour cohorts, classical histopathology methods, quantitative digital pathology, deep phenotyping techniques (e.g. multiplex imaging of tissue sections, machine learning methods), and molecular methods in the study of tumour biology.

We currently have a vacancy for a statistician/computer scientist who will use advanced modelling methods to interpret clinical and experimental data derived from primary human and model tumour tissues.

In particular, we are generating large volumes of multidimensional quantitative single-cell data from microscopic images of human and animal tumour tissue, with a particular interest in the in situ quantification of altered cellular signalling and altered control of gene expression at multiple levels.

Key active questions include:

  • How does the tumour phenotype vary within neighbouring epithelial cells at the microscopic level? Can we visualise epithelial cell plasticity driving hallmark phenotypes (eg invasiveness, proliferation) in situ?
  • How are these alterations related to genomic, epigenetic and translational dysregulation?
  • How do non-genomic microenvironmental features (eg hypoxia, inflammation, signalling) influence cellular plasticity?
  • Can we infer dynamic cellular processes from snapshot images of tumour tissue?

In the first instance, we plan to tackle these questions by developing statistical models to link measurable markers of regulation to measurable phenotypes in tissue images, using highly multiplexed tissue images as our substrate.

Applicants must have a PhD in a relevant field, be driven by scientific curiosity and have an excellent publication record in cancer biology, with demonstrable ability in classical statistical methods as well as advanced data modelling. Experience of artificial intelligence methods would be an advantage.

To find out more about this unique opportunity to establish advanced skills and expertise in the exciting field of colorectal cancer biology, please contact Prof John Le Quesne at  for more details.

At the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, we are committed to increasing the number of female scientists at this level and strongly encourage female applicants to apply. We have recently introduced a highly attractive, innovative maternity policy, which includes providing a postdoc with support and funding so that their projects can continue during their maternity leave.

All applications must be made via our website at

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