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Our strategy

The CIMR forms a unique partnership between clinical and basic research, aiming to understand the cellular basis of disease.  Our strategy is to use cell biology to understand mechanisms of disease and conversely to use genetic disease to reveal crucial mechanisms of cell biology.  

The research vision of the CIMR is centred on our strengths in fundamental cell biological processes, with particular emphasis on membrane trafficking, organelle function, protein homeostasis and folding, the cytoskeleton and autophagy.  Interactions between researchers are strengthened by common interests in particular disease areas in which we have established expertise: neurodegenerative disease; haematological disorders; immunological and infectious diseases, and cancer. We aim to enhance collaborative opportunities via complementary technical knowledge that different groups bring to the institute, from structural biology and high resolution imaging to advanced genetic screens and proteomics. This is greatly facilitated by our core facilities.

A vital part of our strategy is the interdisciplinary collaboration between clinicians, geneticists, cell biologists, structural biologists and bioinformaticians.  One important aspect of the CIMR is maintaining a 60:40 ratio of basic researchers and clinicians that bring together complementary perspectives, catalysing novel insights into mechanisms of disease.

Our goals are to:

  • Create a collaborative and supportive environment in which outstanding scientists can excel
  • Invest in world-class research facilities for the Cambridge Biomedical Campus
  • Use our partnership between clinical and basic research to spark new discoveries and clinical applications
  • Communicate our aims and advances to patients, the public and particularly young people





A unique partnership that drives discovery

Prof Julian Rayner

Julian Rayner

CIMR Director

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