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Cambridge Institute for Medical Research

Department A-Z

Our strategy

We aim to create an inspiring environment in which outstanding scientists can excel. By providing state-of-the-art core facilities and support for our researchers, we foster new collaborations that spark discoveries about fundamental cellular processes and their relevance in disease.

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Research advances

The Ron lab reveal in Science the target of ISRIB, a chemical inhibitor of the integrated stress response that can influence memory function, metabolism and immunity. Using a suppressor mutation screen in mammalian cells, they show that ISRIB targets an interaction between eIF2a and the guanine nucleotide-exchange factor (GEF) eIF2B to inhibit the stress response.

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Research advances

In collaboration with Siena Biotech (Italy), the Rubinsztein lab have identified glutaminyl cyclase (QPCT) as a possible druggable target for Huntington's disease. They report in Nature Chemical Biology that QPCT regulates huntingtin aggregation and toxicity, and thus highlight the potential of 'druggable genome' screens.

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The University spin-out company XO1 Ltd, which Jim Huntington is co-founder and director of, has been acquired by the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical company Janssen. They will continue the pre-clinical development of ichorcumab, a synthetic antibody against thrombin that promotes anti-coagulation without increased bleeding risk.

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2015 Commonwealth Day Reception

Chris Hill (Deane and Read labs) represented young UK scientists at the 2015 Commonwealth Day Reception this month. This event, which was attended by HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, celebrated the capacity, contribution and potential of young people and followed on from the inaugural Commonwealth Science Conference that Chris attended last year in Bangalore (Commonwealth Secretariat photo by Richard Lewis).

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Cambridge Drug Discovery Institute

Alzheimer's Research UK has announced an £30m Drug Discovery Alliance, which will include a new institute on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus with CIMR Deputy Director David Rubinsztein as its academic lead. Its primary focus will be on the development of new treatments for Alzheimer's and other causes of dementia.

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A unique partnership between basic and clinical research, aiming to understand the cellular basis of disease

New publications

Lehner lab (Plos Path. 2015)

Expanded targets for human cytomegalovirus US2.

Rubinsztein lab (Nature Chem. Biol. 2015)

QPCT control of huntingtin aggregation.


Ron lab (Science 2015)

A target for memory-enhancing compound.


WT/JDRF Diabetes and Inflammation lab (Trials 2015).

Recruitment strategy for DILT1D trial.

Marciniak and Ron labs (eLife 2015)
G-actin modulation of the integrated stress response.

Ron, Read and Marciniak labs (eLife 2015)
G-actin provides substrate specificity for PP1 holophosphatase.