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:

  A cross section of the type-I CTE filament. Credit: MRC-LMB

MRC scientists discover unique tau filament structures in head-injury associated dementia

Researchers at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) have revealed the atomic structures of the abnormal tau filaments associated with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a head injury-associated neurodegenerative disease, and found that they differ in structure from those seen in Alzheimer’s disease.

22 March 2019Read in full

Using music as a force for change

Could combining medical research with the arts help develop effective health interventions? Dr Cressida Bowyer, Senior Research Fellow in the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries at the University of Portsmouth, is figuring out how to combat harmful air pollution in a community in Sub-Saharan Africa using wonderfully creative means.

15 March 2019Read in full

medical tests

High blood pressure, diabetes and obesity each linked to unhealthy brains

Factors that influence the health of our blood vessels, such as smoking, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes are linked to less healthy brains, according to new research part-funded by the MRC.

12 March 2019Read in full

genetic data available now

New genetic data on 50,000 UK Biobank participants available for global health researchers

A vast tranche of new UK Biobank genetic data becomes available to health researchers today, offering an unprecedented resource to enhance understanding of human biology and aid in therapeutic discovery.

11 March 2019Read in full

MRC Heart graphic

Prospective drug found by testing in human heart muscle grown from stem cells

Scientists have found a potential new drug for treating the heart damage caused by a heart attack by targeting the way the heart reacts to stress, according to new research published in the journal Cell Stem Cell and funded by the MRC, the British Heart Foundation and Wellcome.

8 March 2019Read in full

Blood in vials

HIV remission achieved in second patient

A second person has experienced sustained remission from HIV-1 after ceasing treatment, according to new research part-funded by the MRC.

6 March 2019Read in full

off-target binding in a time-lapse

Distorted, stretched DNA may increase risk of off-target changes with CRISPR-Cas9

Distortions to DNA, which occur routinely during gene expression and other cellular processes, could lead to off-target changes to the genome when using CRISPR-Cas9, a new study suggests. The Medical Research Council scientists behind the research say that their findings may help to pave the way to improve on the accuracy of gene editing for clinical applications.

26 February 2019Read in full

Child looks out the window

MRC-funded research reveals extent of trauma and PTSD in young people

MRC-funded research from King’s College London suggests one in 13 young people in the UK have had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) before reaching age 18.

25 February 2019Read in full

man coughing

New clues as to why non-smokers, as well as smokers, develop COPD

MRC-funded researchers led by the Universities of Leicester and Nottingham have discovered genetic differences that put some people at higher risk than others of developing chronic lung disease.

25 February 2019Read in full

AMR showcased in Parliament

UKRI ‘One Health’ AMR research priorities showcased in Parliament

The UKRI Cross-Council AMR Initiative and Stephen Metcalfe MP, Chair of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee and member of the Science and Technology Committee (Commons), yesterday (Weds) hosted a parliamentary panel and Q&A on Antimicrobial Resistance: How Research is Tackling the Challenge.

14 February 2019Read in full

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