Catrin received her MA in Biochemistry from Jesus College, Oxford University in 1983, and in 1987 she finished her PhD at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund on mapping of the male determining gene on the human Y chromosome. This led to postdoctoral research, initially at the University of California, San Francisco from 1987 to 1991, then at the DNAX Research Institute, California from 1992 to 1995, where she worked on intracellular signalling through RAF kinases, investigating their mechanisms of control of the MAPK pathway in normal and cancer cells.
In 1995, Catrin moved to Leicester as a Royal Society University Research Fellow, where she began to use genetic mouse models to investigate the role of the RAF family of protein kinases in control of intracellular signalling pathways involved in mammalian development.
In 2009, she was appointed Chair of Cancer Biochemistry; the following year she was awarded a Royal Society-Wolfson merit award, which she held until 2015. She was Director of the Leicester CRUK Centre 2014–2017 and Head of the Department of Cancer Studies 2014–2018. She is now Deputy Director of the Leicester Cancer Research Centre. In 2017, she began development of a new patient-derived explant model system, which is being applied to the preclinical testing of anti-cancer drugs and in the development of pharmacodynamic biomarkers.
As a leading figure in the field of cancer research, Professor Catrin Pritchard inspires colleagues and students, not just at Leicester but throughout the scientific community.