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Graduate Admissions

About the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

The MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) is a world-class research laboratory, dedicated to understanding important biological processes at the molecular level – with the goal of using this knowledge to tackle major problems in human health and disease.

The LMB is one of the birthplaces of modern molecular biology. Many techniques were pioneered at the laboratory, including DNA sequencing, methods for determining the three-dimensional structure of proteins and the development of monoclonal antibodies.

Over the years, the work of LMB scientists has attracted 12 Nobel prizes, dozens of Royal Society awards and numerous other scientific honours.

In addition, many of our scientists have succeeded in exploiting their discoveries through technology transfer generating over £700 million of commercial income, to help support UK science.

2 courses offered in the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

The Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) is one of the world's leading research institutes. Discoveries and inventions developed at the LMB, for example, DNA sequencing and methods to determine the structure of proteins, have revolutionised all areas of biology. Our scientists work to advance understanding of biological processes at the molecular level. This information will help us to understand the workings of complex systems, such as the immune system and the brain, and solve key problems in human health.

Every year the LMB International PhD Programme gives 20–30 new graduate students from universities all over the world the opportunity to do cutting-edge research. At the LMB, we aim to train the scientific leaders of the future: we seek the best students, give them rewarding research projects and provide a supportive environment with access to world-class facilities and experts.

Our new building is a key component in the development of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus and is located at the hub of one of the largest and most internationally competitive concentrations of healthcare-related talent and enterprise in Europe. The new LMB building has a stunning design and provides a globally competitive research centre with state of the art facilities for making the discoveries of the 21st century.

We have an active graduate student association (GSA), founded and run entirely by our students, which organises numerous events specifically for graduates. Graduate students register for their PhD with the University of Cambridge and belong to a Cambridge College.

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The MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology occasionally takes on MPhil students providing they have the support of a group leader in the Laboratory. To obtain support from a group leader, students should contact them directly. For information on our faculty members’ research interests, please visit the Research and the Group Leaders pages on the LMB website.

This is a one-year full-time research MPhil. Assessment is by submission of a thesis and an oral examination. Students start in October, with submission of the thesis by the end of August.

Applicants will generally have a bioscience background, but applicants with a computational, physics or mathematical background can also apply.

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2 courses also advertised in the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

From the Department of Clinical Biochemistry

It is essential that young clinicians with aptitude are able to receive high-quality research training in clinical science, representing as they do the future of academic medicine. We can offer training in an outstanding environment in subjects that span the research spectrum from basic science to epidemiology and public health.

We take great pride in our track record of successfully training clinicians to undertake the highest quality biomedical research and the Schools of Clinical Medicine and Biological Sciences, together with the MRC, Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK institutes, offer one of the most rewarding environments in which you could pursue your research training.

Principal Investigators in the Programme provide mentoring, workshops and mini-projects in order to allow successful candidates to make an informed choice of PhD project and supervisor that are tailored to the interests of the candidate. This novel approach to the training of clinical scientists aims to provide the support and mentoring required to allow clinical academics to reach their full potential and pursue a successful academic career. We fully recognise that each individual will have a different background and current training position. Some will be academic clinical fellows whilst others will be on standard training programmes. Equally some individuals who are interested in epidemiology and public health or computational biology/bioinformatics may wish to undertake a taught MPhil to obtain sufficient knowledge before embarking on their PhD. These can all be accommodated within the Cambridge scheme. All we ask is academic excellence, hard work and the will to make a difference to your chosen profession.

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From the Department of Medicine

This innovative programme was established in 2002 as a collaboration between the University of Cambridge and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US. Its aim is to train outstanding students in biomedical research, taking advantage of the outstanding research environments. Students work on collaborative projects organised by co-supervisors at both Cambridge and the NIH, spending two years at each institution. Students have access to all NIH facilities and are paid by the NIH. The PhD is awarded by the University of Cambridge.

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Department Members


Dr Jan Löwe
Head of Department

  • 54 Academic Staff
  • 200 Postdoctoral Researchers
  • 106 Graduate Students

http://www2.mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk/