Karen Vousden

Karen Vousden


Karen received her BSc and Ph.D. in Genetics from Queen Mary College at the University of London working with Lorna Casselton, followed by postdoctoral fellowships with Chris Marshall at the Institute of Cancer Research in London and Douglas Lowy at the National Cancer Institute in the USA.

She then became head of the Human Papillomavirus group the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in London before moving back to the NCI in 1995, where she was Director of the Molecular Virology and Carcinogenesis Section at the ABL-Basic Research programme and then Chief of the Regulation of Cell Growth Laboratory.

In 2002, she returned to the UK to become the Director of the CRUK Beatson Institute in Glasgow, moving back to London in 2016 to take up the role of Chief Scientist at CRUK and Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute.

Karen's research focuses on the tumour suppressor protein p53, which plays an important role in cancer prevention. Her lab is interested in understanding the signals that induce p53 and the functions of p53 that contribute to its ability to prevent cancer progression. This work has also expanded to encompass an interest in cancer metabolism. Ultimately, the hope is to be able find ways to translate this research for cancer therapy.

Karen has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Academy of Medical Sciences, EMBO, the European Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association of Cancer Research Academy and the National Academy of Sciences.

She has also received honorary DScs from the Universities of London and Strathclyde and is an honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Glasgow). Karen's awards include the Tenovus Gold Medal, the Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins Medal, the Royal Medal from the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Mike Price Gold Medal and she was made a Commander of the British Empire for services to clinical science. She has been on the Board of Directors of the AACR and is a member of the EMBO Council. 

Qualifications and history

Queen Mary College London, UK
BSc Genetics and Microbiology
Queen Mary College London, UK
PhD in Genetics
Institute of Cancer Research, UK
Postdoctoral Fellow
National Cancer Institute, NIH, USA
Postdoctoral Fellow
Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, London, UK
Group Leader
ABL Basic Research Programme, Frederick, USA
Laboratory Director
National Cancer Institute, NIH, USA
Laboratory Chief
Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, Glagsow, UK
Cancer Research UK
Chief Scientist
Francis Crick Institute
Group Leader


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Last updated : 09 December 2022 02:33

Postdoctoral Training Fellow x2

Submitted by codeenigma-mas… on 4 October 2021

This is a full-time, fixed term (4 years) position on Crick terms and conditions of employment.


The research group

We are a highly interactive, international group of postdoctoral scientists, clinical and non-clinical PhD students leading research into cancer metabolism. We look forward to welcoming new members who share our passion to understand cancer metabolism and to identify vulnerabilities in these pathways as targets for therapy.


Project summary

Our lab has made major contributions to understanding how nutrient availability, metabolism and ROS regulation impact cancer initiation and progression. We have recently been awarded an ERC grant to study the metabolic mechanisms underpinning obesity-driven pancreatic cancer by defining the metabolic crosstalk between the adipocytes in the tumour environment and the tumour cells themselves. Using metabolomic profiling, isotope tracing analysis and mouse models, the project aims to understand how adipocytes, the modulation of oxidative stress and formate metabolism affect adipocyte-cancer interactions. For this project we are seeking postdoctoral fellows who will make use of a wide range of techniques, including metabolomics, cell biology and mouse studies. We need dedicated, ambitious, creative and collaborative scientists with previous experience in cancer cell biology, mouse models of obesity or pancreas cancer and cancer cell or systemic metabolism. Postdoctoral Training Fellows are expected to be self-motivated and independently drive this own research projects, while also contributing to other projects on a collaborative basis (both in the lab and with external collaborators) and guide PhD students in their research.

Key experience and competencies

The post holder should embody and demonstrate our core Crick values: bold, imaginative, open, dynamic and collegial, in addition to the following:


  • PhD in the area of cancer biology or metabolism or in the final stages of PhD submission
  • High degree of proficiency in at least one of the following areas
  • Metabolic pathways – expertise in lipid metabolism is a bonus
  • Systemic metabolism in mice
  • Cancer models and the analysis of tumour/host interactions
  • Technical metabolomic analysis
  • Expertise in cell and molecular biology
  • Track record of writing papers as evidenced by publications or submitted manuscripts in refereed journals
  • Evidence of data presentation at scientific meetings
  • Experience of experimental design
  • Ability to work independently and also capable of interacting within a group
https://crick.wd3.myworkdayjobs.com/External/job/London/Postdoctoral-Training-Fellow_R421 36 2 Karen Vousden Karen Vousden Vousden K |Research Group - 2 (Karen Vousden) Karen Vousden Eleanor.Cowan@crick.ac.uk R421 Search engines may index Yes Science 4 <p>Competitive with benefits, subject to skills and experience.</p>