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Cambridge Institute for Medical Research

Department A-Z

Our strategy

CIMR is a unique partnership between basic and clinical research, aiming to understand the cellular basis of disease. Our goal is 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

Shenjiang Tan from the Warren lab has reported in Blood that EFL1 mutations impair eIF6 release to cause Shwachman-Diamond syndrome.

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Research advances

Vasileios Kargas in the Warren lab (CIMR) has reported in eLife how the key catalytic centre of the ribosome is sculpted.

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Research Advances

Writing in Cell Reports, Lior Soday from Mike Weekes’s lab in collaboration with Geoff Smith in the Department of Pathology describe a temporal proteomic analysis of vaccinia virus infection. This includes systematic investigation into virally induced host protein degradation. Vaccinia degrades multiple families of immune ligands and interferon-stimulated genes. The viral C6 protein targets histone deacetylase 5 (HDAC5) for proteasomal degradation to evade the antiviral activity of HDAC5.

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Research advances

Farah Siddiqi and colleagues from David Rubinsztein’s lab have reported in Nature Communications that felodipine induces autophagy in the brains of mice with plasma concentrations mimicking those seen in humans taking the drug for hypertension. Felodipine enhances the clearance of neurotoxic proteins and ameliorates signs in animal models of Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and tauopathy.

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Research advances

Gareth Fearnley in the Sharpe lab (CIMR) has reported in eLife that the homophilic receptor PTPRK selectively dephosphorylates multiple junctional regulators to promote cell-cell adhesion

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Research advances

Claudia Rato & Yahui Yan from the Ron lab report on the discovery of an intracellular role for a protein long believed to be secreted neurotrophin. Surprisingly, they find that MANF regulates protein folding homeostasis by antagonising nucleotide exchange of the endoplasmic reticulum chaperone BiP.

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Research advances

In Nature Communications, Alexandra Davies in the Robinson lab has uncovered a novel role for the adaptor protein AP-4 in regulating the cellular recycling process autophagy.

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Research advances

Writing in Nature Cell Biology, Edward Avezov (Ron Lab and UK DRI), Joe Chambers (Marciniak Lab) and their collaborators at the Department of Chemical Engineering of Cambridge University and the École Normale Supérieure of Paris report on an active process that distributes the contents of the endoplasmic reticulum throughout mammalian cells

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Research advances

Chris Gawden-Bone in the Griffiths lab has revealed in Immunity that PIP5 Kinases Regulate Membrane Phosphoinositide and Actin Composition for Targeted Granule Secretion by Cytotoxic Lymphocytes

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Research advances

Sung Min Son in the Rubinsztein group has reported in Cell Metabolism that in some cells, mTOR complex 1 can be activated by leucine via its metabolite acetyl-CoA.

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Research advances

The Rubinsztein group report in Nature Communications that inhibition of cellular recycling through autophagy is an important consequence of contact inhibition.

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A new Director for CIMR

We are delighted to announce that Julian Rayner will become the fourth Director of Cambridge Institute of Medical Research and Professor of Cell Biology, from 1st May 2019. Julian is currently a Senior Group Leader at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and his research focuses on the interactions between Plasmodium parasites and human red blood cells, in order to identify new malaria drug and vaccine targets.

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The Keith Peters Building

At 6pm on Thursday 4th April, Professor Sir Keith Peters unveiled a plaque in reception to mark the formal re-naming of our building as The Keith Peters Building. Sixty guests, several of whom held senior positions in the Clinical School over 25 years ago, were invited by the School to be present and somehow, they easily fitted into Reception for the event. Sir Keith, as Regius Professor, was instrumental in convincing the Wellcome Trust and MRC to provide the funds for our building and was also successful in procuring the donation that allowed us to have a lounge/canteen on the top floor. Marking Sir Keith’s Welsh origin, the plaque in Reception is made of Welsh slate and the letter carving is by Kindersley.

Congratulations to David Rubinsztein who has been selected as one of Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers for 2018. This identifies 6078 scientists and social scientists who have authored multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in Web of Science from 2006-2016. The number of researchers selected in each field is based on the square root of the population of authors listed on the field’s highly cited papers.

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New Professorship

Many congratulations to Folma Buss on her well-deserved promotion to Professor, reflecting both her research advances and her commitment to graduate education.

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2018 Academy of Medical Sciences Fellows

We are delighted that Jim Huntington has been elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

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Postgraduate Open Day

New publications

Warren lab (Blood 2019)

EFL1 mutations impair eIF6 release to cause Shwachman-Diamond syndrome.

Warren lab (eLife 2019)

Mechanism of completion of peptidyltransferase centre assembly in eukaryotes

Weeke's lab (Cell Reports 2019)

Quantitative Temporal Proteomic Analysis of Vaccinia Virus Infection Reveals Regulation of Histone Deacetylases by an Interferon Antagonist

Rubinsztein lab (Nature Communications 2019)

Felodipine ameliorates neurodegeneration in mice


Sharpe lab (eLife 2019)

The receptor PTPRK selectively dephosphorylates junctional regulators


Ron lab (Nature Comm 2019)

MANF anatagonizes nucleotide exchange by the enodplasmic reticulum chaperone BiP


Robinson lab (Nature Comm. 2018)

AP-4 adaptor in autophagy


Ron lab (Nature Cell Biology)

Single particle trajectories reveal active endoplasmic reticulum luminal flow

Griffiths Lab (Immunity)

PIP5 Kinases Regulate Membrane Phosphoinositide and Actin Composition for Targeted Granule Secretion by Cytotoxic Lymphocytes


Rubinsztein lab (Cell Metabolism)

Leucine metabolism regulates mTORC1


Weekes lab (Cell Host Microbe 2018)

Global analysis of antiviral factors degraded by HCMV

Rubinsztein lab (Nature Comm. 2018)

Autophagy control in contact inhibition


Griffiths lab (Nature Immunol. 2018)

Single cell insights into T cell killing capacity


Larrieu lab (Sci. Signalling 2018)

Transportin-1 targeted in progeria


Siniossoglou lab (Dev. Cell 2018)

A conserved mechanism for membrane phospholipid sensing


Larrieu lab (Nature Comm. 2018)

NAT10 inhibition increases healthspan of HGPS mice


St George-Hyslop lab (Cell 2018)

Phase separation control of FUS in neurodegeneration


Ron lab (J. Biol. Chem. 2018)

Inhibitor sensitivity of the eIF2a phosphatase revisited


Marciniak lab (ASC Nano. 2018)

Measuring microviscosity dynamics inside organelles


Rubinsztein lab (Dev. Cell 2018)

Recycling endosomes as a novel platform for autophagosome formation


Ron and Warren labs (Science 2018)

CryoEM analysis of integrated stress response


Nathan and Lehner labs (EMBO Rep. 2018)

Overlapping E3 ligase function in the ER