MRC [Medical Research Council]

MRC [Medical Research Council]

The Medical Research Council has been at the forefront of scientific discovery to improve human health. Founded in 1913 to tackle tuberculosis, the MRC now invests taxpayers’ money in some of the best medical research in the world across every area of health.

Telephone: +44 (0)1223 268 101
Address: MRC Centre, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Francis Crick Avenue, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge
Postcode: CB2 0QH
Country: United Kingdom
Membership type:Corporate 51+ (£1,000+VAT pa)

Twenty-nine MRC-funded researchers have won Nobel prizes in a wide range of disciplines, and MRC scientists have been behind such diverse discoveries as vitamins, the structure of DNA and the link between smoking and cancer, as well as achievements such as pioneering the use of randomised controlled trials, the invention of MRI scanning, and the development of a group of antibodies used in the making of some of the most successful drugs ever developed.   Today, MRC-funded scientists tackle some of the greatest health problems facing humanity in the 21st century, from the rising tide of chronic diseases associated with ageing to the threats posed by rapidly mutating micro-organisms.

Over £100m is invested annually in MRC research establishments in Cambridge, including funding for research in universities via grant programmes and through specialist MRC Centres.  The MRC Cancer Unit, the MRC Epidemiology Unit and the MRC Metabolic Diseases Unit are all based at the University of Cambridge.  The MRC has four other units in Cambridge: the MRC Biostatistics Unit, the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, MRC Human Nutrition Research and the MRC Mitochondrial Diseases Unit.   In addition, the MRC currently supports around 100 external studentships in Cambridge.

The MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) is a flagship of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus and continues as a world-class institute for basic science, employing around 700 MRC staff.

Among the key strategic areas are: Neurosciences, including the use of brain imaging; cancer, including prevention and novel therapeutic approaches;  diabetes, obesity, and nutrition, as part of broader strategic efforts in Cambridge; studies of the biology of the mitochondria and relevance to disease and a major interest in biostatistics.

MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit:

MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB):

MRC Human Nutrition Research:

MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit:

MRC Biostatistics Unit:

MRC Metabolic Diseases Unit at the University of Cambridge:

MRC Cancer Unit at the University of Cambridge:

MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge:

micrograph of suprachiasmatic nucleus tissue (SCN)

A new role for the brain’s support cells in controlling circadian rhythms of animal behaviour

Astrocytes, ‘caretaker’ cells that surround and support neurons in the brain, play a much more important role in circadian rhythms, the body’s 24-hour internal clock, than previously understood.

15 January 2019Read in full

Scientists find a new way to target norovirus

Scientists find a new way to target norovirus family

MRC scientists have taken a major step forward in understanding how a family of viruses, including norovirus, initiate infections.

10 January 2019Read in full

two halves of an apple

Gene variations linked to higher risk of diabetes and heart attacks

People who are less likely to put on excess fat around their hips due to their genes are at higher risk of type 2 diabetes and heart attacks, according to a new study led by scientists from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge.

28 December 2018Read in full

Aoife McLysaght, patient Rhys, Bobby Gaspar

MRC researcher stars in the BBC RI Christmas Lectures

MRC researcher Professor Bobby Gaspar, whose gene therapy trial into the rare ‘Bubble baby’ disease has been supported by the MRC since 2007, will be interviewed on stage by Professor Aoife McLysaght, the programme’s Genetics Society Special Guest Lecturer.

21 December 2018Read in full

UKRI Physics of Life call for proposals

The first of two calls for proposals associated with the UKRI Physics of Life initiative is now open. The aim is to support ambitious interdisciplinary research that brings together physics and the life sciences.

12 December 2018Read in full

Steve Winder, CC by NC

Funding boost for initiative mapping entire human body

The MRC, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), is investing £6.7 million to support the UK’s contribution to mapping every cell type in the human body, through the global Human Cell Atlas initiative.

7 December 2018Read in full

100,000 Genomes Project reaches sequencing goal

100,000 Genomes Project reaches sequencing goal

The 100,000 Genomes Project has reached its goal of sequencing 100,000 whole genomes from NHS patients. Established with the support of the MRC, the project began in 2012 with the goal of harnessing whole genome sequencing technology to uncover new diagnoses and improved treatments for patients with rare inherited diseases and cancer.

7 December 2018Read in full

nanopore sequencing

Decades of discovery set to revolutionise healthcare

It can be argued that the development of any successful innovation that transforms healthcare would not be possible without the knowledge derived from decades of discovery science preceding it.

2 November 2018Read in full

Professor Sir Gregory Winter

MRC scientist wins 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The MRC and the Cambridge Network community are delighted to congratulate Professor Sir Gregory Winter, a former Deputy Director of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, on being awarded a share of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on the phage display of peptides and antibodies.

4 October 2018Read in full

adding a piece of the jigsaw

Discovery could explain failed clinical trials for Alzheimer’s and provide a solution

MRC-funded scientists have discovered a vicious feedback loop underlying brain degeneration in Alzheimer’s disease, which may explain why so many drug trials have failed.

21 September 2018Read in full

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