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Another step forward for CIMR research into blood clotting disorders

last modified Oct 24, 2019 04:27 PM

The goal of CIMR is to understand the cellular mechanisms of disease in order to improve human health. Translating laboratory discoveries to new treatments is a challenging process with many complex steps. One outstanding example of navigating that path comes from a collaboration on blood clotting disorders which combines the biochemistry and drug discovery expertise of the CIMR’s Prof. Jim Huntington with the clinical knowledge of haematologist Dr Trevor Baglin (formerly of Cambridge University Hospitals). Their collaborative research led to the formation of ApcinteX Ltd in 2014, and this week they announced the successful delivery of the first dose of their drug SerpinPC in a first in human Phase I/II clinical trial. SerpinPC acts by prolonging the activity of the protein complex which generates thrombin through covalent inhibition of Activated Protein C. SerpinPC’s mechanism of action therefore makes it potentially suitable to treat all forms of haemophilia as a once-monthly subcutaneous prophylactic injection. This first clinical study of SerpinPC will focus on safety, tolerability and dosing, with reduction in bleeding as an exploratory endpoint when dosing moves from healthy volunteers to haemophilia patients. This critical step for the company and its founders reflects the commitment of the CIMR to translate our laboratory research into benefits for patients.

Sept 21 2016. Dementia: catching the memory thief

last modified Jan 10, 2018 11:46 AM
A new video highlighting Cambridge research into dementia, including David Rubinsztein and Peter St George-Hyslop.

This video from the research communications team highlights the aims and advances of dementia research by several leading Cambridge academics, including David Rubinsztein and Peter St George-Hyslop.

Oct 2017. The future of medicine

last modified Feb 02, 2018 12:31 PM
A video on technologies that could revolutionize medicine.

A video on technologies that could revolutionize medicine in the next 50 years, including Gillian Griffiths on the awakening of our immune system self-defence force.

World-leading genome study spells hope for sick babies

last modified Jun 27, 2019 04:56 PM

A Cambridge-based study has shown that the diagnosis and treatment of some of the most critically ill babies can be improved bysequencing their whole genome.

The study, which is the largest of its kind in the world, uses whole genome sequencing to help doctors identify genetic conditions within two to three weeks, a process that until recently could take years.

Funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), the Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, the Rosetrees Trust and Isaac Newton Trust, the study discovered that one in four had an underlying genetic condition. Critically, it changed the clinical management of 75 per cent of those patients.

Professor of genomics, consultant clinical geneticist and Principal Investigator at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, Lucy Raymond said : “We are proud that Cambridge is leading the nation on this cutting edge work with babies and young children and are really grateful to the families who have contributed to this study so generously.

“Each year almost 100,000 such patients are admitted to intensive care units across the UK and in the East of England alone it has the potential to help 3,000 annually.”

Read the full article here

April 1 2017. New Wellcome Trust Henry Dale Fellow

last modified Oct 21, 2019 12:45 PM
Congratulations to Delphine Larrieu, who has been awarded a Dale Fellowship to start her research group this year.

Her new group will focus on the regulation of the nuclear envelope and its links with disease.

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Oct 1 2017. Lister Prize Fellow

last modified Jan 10, 2018 11:42 AM
James Nathan has been awarded a Lister Research Prize Fellowship.

Many congratulations to James Nathan, who has been awarded a Lister Research Prize Fellowship for his studies on the interplay between metabolism and oxygen-sensing enzymes.

A new Director for the CIMR

last modified Apr 24, 2019 01:37 PM
A new Director for the CIMR

Prof Julian Rayner

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.

 After undergraduate education in New Zealand and a PhD at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, he began working on malaria cell biology as a postdoctoral fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, followed by his first faculty position at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Since 2008 he has been a Group Leader at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, during which time he and collaborators have identified an essential red blood cell invasion ligand that is now in early stage human vaccine testing, traced the origins of human malaria parasites in African apes, and carried out the first ever genome-scale experimental genetic screens in Plasmodium parasites. During his time at the Sanger Institute, Julian was Director of Graduate Studies, and was then appointed Director of Wellcome Genome Campus Connecting Science, a multidisciplinary training and engagement programme which aims to enable everyone to explore genomics and its impact on research, health and society. He is strongly committed to public engagement, which he sees as an essential part of research, and will maintain his role with Connecting Science while at the CIMR, helping to forge even stronger links between the University of Cambridge and the Wellcome Genome Campus.

Of his appointment, Julian Rayner has said, “I’m honoured and excited to take over the leadership of CIMR. The Institute has played a very significant role in the Cambridge research landscape over the past twenty years, and its list of current and past group leaders includes some of the most impactful names in UK cell biology research. I’m privileged to follow in the footsteps of Professors Gillian Griffiths and Paul Luzio, and there is particular resonance in bringing parasite cell biology back to CIMR, echoing our first Director, Professor Jenny Blackwell. I look forward to working with the amazing staff to help shape the next stages in CIMR history, and building an even more diverse, inclusive, engaged and scientifically outstanding research institute.”

Patrick Maxwell, Regius Professor of Physic and Head of the School of Clinical Medicine, said “I am absolutely delighted to welcome Julian Rayner as Director of CIMR.  The Institute includes an impressive array of world-class investigators, and has been a key driver of research programs across the whole of the School.  Julian is just the right person to build on the impressive track record and exploit the extraordinary opportunities at the intersection of human disease, genomics and cell biology.”

Jan 2018. Pfizer ITEN network.

last modified Mar 01, 2018 04:32 PM
The Nathan lab will participate in a new strategic partnership.

The Nathan lab will participate in a new strategic partnership with Pfizer for collaborative research. This is one of three first groups selected in the UK for this new ITEN collaborative network.

Postgraduate Open Day 2019

last modified Jul 05, 2019 12:24 PM

Friday 1 November 2019

The University of Cambridge, alongside the Cambridge departments and Colleges, invite you to the Cambridge Postgraduate Open Day on Friday 1 November 2019. The day is open to all those seeking to apply for postgraduate study at the University and will provide opportunities to meet department staff, explore the Colleges and find out more about the application process, research proposals and funding opportunities.

During the morning of the event, you will be able to visit the Colleges, and speak with current postgraduate students to find out about student life in the vibrant city of Cambridge. In the afternoon, prospective applicants will have the chance to learn more about individual courses by talking to academic staff and by visiting departments. We will also offer a central Exhibition Hub where detailed information about the application process is available, with Graduate Admissions Office staff on hand to answer questions about postgraduate study at Cambridge. In addition, the Exhibition Hub will provide further opportunities to talk to department staff and postgraduate students to find out about the hundreds of postgraduate courses offered by the University of Cambridge.

For those of you who are new to Cambridge, the Postgraduate Open Day is an opportunity to find out more about the University, departments and Colleges, enabling you to get a feel for our wide-ranging postgraduate community as well as having the opportunity to meet staff and interact with current students.

Bookings for the Postgraduate Open Day will open in August. If you would like to be kept up-to-date about when bookings open for the Postgraduate Open Day 2019, you may wish to sign up to our mailing list on our Postgraduate Open Day page.

If you have any queries about the Postgraduate Open Day 2019, please do get in touch at

We look forward to meeting you on the day!

Prestigious award for CIMR PhD student

last modified Nov 08, 2019 09:53 AM

Congratulations to Alexandra Davies, a former CIMR PhD Student who has been awarded the 2018-2019 Milo Keynes Prize for Outstanding Dissertation by the Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine Degree Committee. The prize is named in honour of Dr Milo Keynes, a clinician and author who had links to Cambridge during his lifetime, and who bequeathed funds to the University to support prizes for exceptional research.

Alexandra’s PhD thesis is entitled ‘An investigation of the function of adaptor protein complex 4 (AP-4): Discovering a role for AP-4 in the spatial control of autophagy’, and was supervised by Professor Margaret Robinson FRS.

May 5 2017. New Fellows of the Royal Society

last modified May 24, 2017 10:56 AM
Many congratulations to David Owen and David Rubinsztein, who are among the seven Cambridge researchers elected as new Fellows of the Royal Society this year.

This prestigious Fellowship, which recognizes the significance of research contributions made to the field, has now been awarded to seven researchers at the CIMR.

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Royal Sociey Award

last modified Jul 18, 2019 09:17 AM

Royal Society

Congratulations to Gillian Griffiths who has been awarded the Royal Society Buchanan Medal in recognition of her groundbreaking research establishing the fundamental cell biological mechanisms that drive cytotoxic T-cell (CTL) killing.

 CTLs are an essential part of our immune systems, helping to protect our bodies from disease. They function by recognising and killing cancer cells as well as cells that have become infected with viruses. Gillian’s research combines genetics, biochemistry and imaging to reveal the mechanisms by which CTLs deliver their lethal cargo to kill diseased and damaged cells. Her work lays the foundations for the development of targeted cancer immunotherapy.

Created in 1897 from a fund to the memory of London physician Sir George Buchanan (1831–1895), the Buchanan Medal is awarded for distinguished contributions to the biomedical sciences. Gillian is the first female scientist to win the award, continuing her history of pioneering leadership. Gillian was Director of CIMR from 2012-2017, and remains an active and highly collaborative member of our research community.

May 2017. Spin-out success

last modified Jan 10, 2018 11:44 AM
The spin-out company Z Factor Ltd has received £7 million Series A funding.

Congratulations to Jim Huntington on the £7 million Series A funding of the spin-out company Z Factor Ltd, which aims to identify drugs for the treatment of alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency.

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