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Cambridge Institute for Medical Research


We believe that connecting the fine details of how cells work with the big picture of human disease is the fastest route to both scientific breakthroughs and therapeutic advances. CIMR research therefore links molecules, mechanisms and medicine by using insights from fundamental biology to inform understanding of human disease and vice versa.

Our strategy is:

  • To encourage extensive collaboration between expert research scientists (leaders in fundamental molecular discovery) and experienced clinicians (with real-life expertise and understanding of disease in patients and in clinic) on areas of shared interest.
  • To invest in and deploy a range of outstanding, high-quality platforms and technologies that allow us to understand mechanism at molecular resolution.
  • To focus on specific areas of disease and biology in order to maximise connections and synergy

CIMR research is centred on cellular homeostasis and the diseases that occur when it is disrupted - either by inherited genetic variation or by infection.

We have three interlinked biological areas of focus: protein folding and quality control, membrane trafficking and organelle biology. These pathways are fundamental to normal cellular function, and when impeded lead to diseases that are rare, devastating, and frequently occur in the nervous system. Numerous infectious pathogens have also evolved to infect cells by exploiting and manipulating these pathways.

CIMR therefore has three disease areas of focus: rare genetic disease, neurological disease and intracellular infections. These are united by the fact that they are caused by disruptions of cellular homeostasis and are frequently neglected and overlooked, meaning there is significant unmet patient need.

We actively encourage the translation of fundamental discovery into new treatments and diagnostics by leveraging the outstanding clinical and commercial environments of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus and University of Cambridge. We also believe that for science and research to have the greatest impact they must be integrated with and informed by society, so we champion and seek out new innovative ways to engage the public and patients with our research.