Dr Clarke completed his undergraduate BSc studies in Biology at the University of Sussex and the Université de Grenoble. Following two and half years as a Research Assistant with Professor Potten at the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, he studied the control of proliferation in the normal and neoplastic human mammary gland for his PhD at The University of Manchester (1995). Subsequently, Dr Clarke undertook post-doctoral training with Dr Liz Anderson in the Clinical Research Department of The Christie, Manchester.
Dr Clarke returned to The University of Manchester as a Cancer Research UK Research Fellow in 2001, becoming a Group Leader in the Division of Cancer Studies based at the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research. He is currently a Reader in Breast Biology in the Breast Cancer Now Research Unit and Director of the Manchester Breast Centre at the Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Manchester.