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Graduate Admissions

About the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research

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.

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.

4 courses offered in the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research

The Department of Haematology is located on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. Research in the department falls into three main areas with major relevance for human disease: The Haematopoiesis and Leukaemia Group, the Structural Medicine and Thrombosis Group, and the Transfusion Medicine Group.

Those research groups also belonging to the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute (https://www.stemcells.cam.ac.uk/research/pis) will be moving to a brand new purpose built facility on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus in late 2018/early 2019.

The department offers this three-year full-time PhD programme of research under individual supervision of principal investigators based in the Department of Haematology. This course can also be taken as a part-time option over six years. PhD students on this course are based in a research group, supported by their primary supervisor and the CIMR Graduate Education Committee / CSCI Graduate Student Committee. There is no taught or examined course work, but students are encouraged to attend research seminars on the Biomedical Campus and elsewhere in the University.

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The Cambridge Institute for Medical Research (CIMR) is one of the leading research institutions in the UK and provides a unique interface between clinical and basic biomedical science. Its major goal is to determine and understand the molecular mechanisms underlying human disease. The strength of the institute is that members work on a variety of diseases using a wide range of methodologies which makes it a superb place for graduate training in biological and medical sciences. CIMR has around 26 group leaders working in a range of disease mechanisms, ranging from neurodegenerative disease, haematological disorders, immunological and infectious diseases to cancer.

Research in CIMR is focused on fundamental cell biological processes, with particular emphasis on membrane trafficking, organelle function, protein homeostasis and folding, the cytoskeleton and autophagy.

The Cambridge Institute offers a one-year full-time MPhil programme of research under individual supervision of principal investigators based in CIMR. This course can also be taken as part-time option over two years. During their MPhil the students are based in a research group, supported by their primary supervisor and the CIMR Graduate Education Committee. There is no taught and examined course work, but students are encouraged to attend research seminars at the Addenbrooke's Biomedical Research Campus and elsewhere in the University, and graduate student seminars dealing with generic skills such as intellectual property rights, writing a thesis or paper, and entrepreneurship. Students write a dissertation, which is examined via an oral examination.

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The Cambridge Institute for Medical Research (CIMR) is one of the leading research institutions in the UK and provides a unique interface between clinical and basic biomedical science. Its major goal is to determine and understand the molecular mechanisms underlying human disease. The strength of the institute is that members work on a variety of diseases using a wide range of methodologies, which makes it a superb place for graduate training in biological and medical sciences. CIMR has  around 26 group leaders working in a range of disease mechanisms, ranging from neurodegenerative disease, haematological disorders, immunological and infectious diseases to cancer.

Research in CIMR is focused on fundamental cell biological processes, with particular emphasis on membrane trafficking, organelle function, protein homeostasis and folding, the cytoskeleton and autophagy.

The Cambridge Institute offers a three-year full-time PhD programme of research under individual supervision of principal investigators based in CIMR. This course can also be taken as part-time option over six years. The PhD students are based in a research group, supported by their primary and secondary supervisor and the CIMR Graduate Education Committee. There is no taught and examined course work, but students can take part in core topic discussion sessions held once a week by PIs in CIMR.

Along with the specific research training provided in the laboratory in which the student works, he or she receives further training within the CIMR in the form of graduate workshops concentrating on research techniques, research seminars both on the Addenbrooke's site and elsewhere in the University, and graduate student seminars dealing with generic skills such as intellectual property rights, writing a thesis or paper, and entrepreneurship. Students write a dissertation, which is examined via an oral examination.

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Taking advantage of the genomic revolution, this PhD programme allows students to move from the analysis of host and pathogen genetics, the identification of new genes and molecules, through immunogenomics, viral and bacterial pathogenesis, immune adaptation and evasion, complex genetic analysis of human disease to the macroscopic manifestation of infectious diseases in population dynamics and mathematical modelling.

By understanding the pathogen and how the immune system responds to that pathogen, together with the autoreactive potential of the immune response, we aim to improve our knowledge of the pathogenesis of both infectious and inflammatory disorders, as well as develop new treatment strategies to combat these conditions. While no student can be expert in all these areas, it is our premise that equipping the next generation of scientists with a rigorous training, skill set and broad academic insight will provide them with the expertise to bring novel and innovative approaches to the study of infection, immunity and inflammation.

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1 course also advertised in the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research

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 clinical 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 institutes in which you could pursue your research training.

Programme investigators provide lectures, 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 to embark 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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Department Members


Professor G Griffiths
Head of Department

  • 29 Academic Staff
  • 135 Postdoctoral Researchers
  • 86 Graduate Students

http://www.cimr.cam.ac.uk/

Research Areas