Colin Ratcliffe has been announced as the first recipient of an EACR-AstraZeneca Postdoctoral Fellowship, funding that is awarded for a period of up to three years to support excellent postdoctoral researchers in laboratories throughout Europe and the world.

Jane Smith, Chief Executive Officer at the EACR, says, “We are delighted to have been able to develop this new funding opportunity for EACR members, thanks to the support of AstraZeneca. We had some outstanding applications and offer our warm congratulations to Colin on being selected as the first winner of an EACR-AstraZeneca Postdoctoral Fellowship. We look forward to hearing about Colin’s research in the Award Winners’ session at our Annual Congress in Torino in June!”

Having begun his Fellowship at AstraZeneca in January 2023, Colin recently let us know how his research has been going so far. “It’s been exciting to bounce ideas off of the scientists at AstraZeneca and gain their invaluable insight,” he says. “Along with the close interactions that I have with clinician-scientists at the Francis Crick Institute, this award has helped me reframe questions that address biological principles in a way that would have broader societal impact. I look forward to presenting my work at the EACR Congress in June and maybe meeting future EACR-AstraZeneca fellows.”

About the Recipient

Colin Ratcliffe is a postdoctoral fellow in Erik Sahai’s laboratory at the Francis Crick Institute. He is seeking to understand the distinction between responder and resistor cells in tumours treated with targeted therapy. The PI3K pathway has been studied for the past few decades, but only recently have compounds targeting the pathway been adopted into clinical practice. Colin became interested in breast cancer biology during his PhD in Morag Park’s laboratory at McGill University and is currently investigating what underpins patterns of therapeutic response to PI3K pathway targeting in triple negative breast cancer. He believes that a skillset that embraces innovation is the best approach to tackling these problems and he uses microscopy combined with molecular tools to survey individual cells over the course of treatment.

His training includes a foundation in biochemistry and extends into image analysis, mouse surgical techniques and organoid-based tumour models. He has collaborated and worked on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and aims to continue contributing at the cutting edge of the broader scientific community.  He believes that understanding therapeutic dynamics would be an important step to improving response rates and combating resistance to drugs that target the PI3K pathway.

Click here to see Colin Ratcliffe’s institute profile page

More about EACR-AstraZeneca Postdoctoral Fellowships

The aims of this funding are to support the career development of outstanding EACR members in the early stage of their careers, and to train the next generation of scientists engaged in innovative research in areas where AstraZeneca has demonstrated leadership through its pipeline and research programs. Learn more here.