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Cambridge’s Stem Cell Institute receives five year funding boost

last modified Jan 20, 2017 10:51 AM

Cambridge Stem Cell Institute has today been confirmed as a major research centre by biomedical research charity Wellcome and the Medical Research Council, receiving continued support for a further five years.  

The Wellcome / MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute and Wellcome / CRUK Gurdon Institute have been named as two of 14 Wellcome Centres announced today, all of which aim to advance our understanding of health and disease, and span fundamental and social sciences, clinical research and engineering.

At Wellcome Centres, groups of world-class researchers with a joint vision come together to share facilities, collaborate, and benefit from the dynamic research, cultural and training environment.  This special environment allows them to deliver world-leading research and high-impact translation.  

The Wellcome / MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute was established in 2012, is a world-leading centre for stem cell research, and is the heart of a vibrant stem cell community in Cambridge. Stem cells give rise to the multitude of cell types that make up our bodies. The mechanisms that regulate normal stem cell behaviour are of fundamental biological importance, and stem cell dysfunction underlies numerous diseases including many current global health challenges. Moreover stem cells also provide unique tools for modelling disease and for generating novel cell-based therapies. In 2018 our researchers will come together in a new purpose-built building  embedded within the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, close to multiple other research institutes and adjacent to Addenbrookes and Papworth hospitals.

Professor Tony Green, Director of the Wellcome / MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, says:

”Stem cell research offers unrivalled opportunities for developing new approaches to the management of disease, and I am delighted that both the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council will continue to support our pioneering research at this exciting time.”

Wellcome’s Director, Dr Jeremy Farrar, says:

“Wellcome Centres play a special role in the global research ecosystem. By creating places where researchers can flourish we can catalyse world-leading research and translation, and amplify its influence and impact."

“At Wellcome we believe in long term support for discovery-driven science, and Wellcome Centres are an outstanding environment for researchers to further our understanding of fundamental biology, accelerate translation to clinical practice, and explore the social and cultural context of medicine."

For more information about the centres visit

Read more: Cambridge UniversityWellcome TrustGurdon Institute


Our neighbours and collaborators The Gurdon Institute have also been awarded funding as a Wellcome Centre.

The Gurdon Institute was founded in 1989 to promote research in the areas of developmental biology and cancer biology, and to foster a collaborative environment for independent research groups with diverse but complementary interests. The Institute changed its name in 2004 to the Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute in recognition of the achievements of Professor Sir John Gurdon, one of the founder members. In 2012, Professor Gurdon was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Developmental biology is concerned with how cells acquire and maintain their normal functions, and cancer is a result of cells escaping from these normal controls. Research in the Gurdon Institute aims to extend our understanding of these processes through analysis of intracellular and intercellular activity at cellular and molecular levels.

Professor Daniel St Johnston, Director, Wellcome  / CRUK Gurdon Institute, says:

"We are delighted that the Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK have decided to renew the Centre funding for the Gurdon Institute, which will allow us to continue our ground-breaking research on the links between developmental biology and cancer."