Professor Clare Isacke studied for her BA in Biochemistry and DPhil in Developmental Biology with John Heath at the University of Oxford. She then moved to Tony Hunter's laboratory at the Salk Institute in San Diego to work on growth factor receptor signalling as a postdoctoral fellow. On returning to England, she started her own research laboratory first in the Department of Biochemistry and then in the Department of Biology at Imperial College London. She was appointed Professor of Molecular Cell Biology in 2000.
In 2001, Professor Isacke moved to the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London to take up an appointment as Professor of Molecular Cell Biology in the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre. In 2004, Professor Isacke was appointed Deputy Director of the Centre and from 2011–2013 she was the Interim Director of the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre and the Interim Head of the Division of Breast Cancer Research. In 2013 she was appointed Academic Dean at the ICR.