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Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute


What is an Interdisciplinary Research Centre?

Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IRCs) are managed by the University of Cambridge as a cross-school initiative to encourage multi-discipline research in order to address research challenges, facilitate knowledge transfer, increase research capacity, and enhance our ability to influence international research and policy. 

Who we are

The Stem Cells Interdisciplinary Research Centre (IRC) is a hub for stem cell research across the University of Cambridge. Researchers from departments across the University and affiliated organisations are involved in the programme of IRC activities, including the 29 PIs at the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute and the network of 37 affiliated PIs and their research groups.

Our aims

The overall aim of the Cambridge Stem Cells IRC is to facilitate inter-disciplinary interactions across the University and the wider community of researchers in Cambridge whose work has significance to stem cell research and therapeutics. 

The 4 main aims:

AIM 1: To strengthen research collaborations and knowledge transfer across disciplines

AIM 2: To increase capacity and profile by providing a platform for large-scale funding applications, recruitments and international research partnerships

AIM 3: To address large-scale multi-disciplinary challenges

AIM 4: To enhance our ability to influence national and international research, policy and funding agendas 


Join our Stem Cells IRC network:

  • Connect to a large network of researchers from a range of stem cell backgrounds, including physics, engineering, sociology and fundamental biology.  
  • Get the opportunity to receive and share stem cell news from across Cambridge via the weekly Newsletter.
  • Support and facilitate cross-disciplinary activities, including workshops, seminars & events.
  • Learn about small and large seed funding and grants opportunities for interdisciplinary research.

To find out more or to join the mailing list to receive the newsletter, contact

Current Members

Chair: Bertie Göttgens - Cambridge Stem Cell Institute

Coordinator: Laura Puhl - Cambridge Stem Cell Institute

Thorsten Boroviak - Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience (PDN)

Maria Duque-Correa - Cambridge Stem Cell Institute

Nick Hopwood - Department of History & Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge

Kathy Liddell - Centre for Law, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law

Athina Markaki - Department of Engineering

Kathy Niakan - PDN 

Roisin Owens - Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

Wolfram Pönisch - PDN 

Fotios Sampaziotis - Cambridge Stem Cell Institute

Benjamin Simons - Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, Gurdon Institute

Sanjay Sinha - Cambridge Stem Cell Institute

Alice Sorrell - Cambridge Stem Cell Institute

Anthea Stanley - Cambridge Stem Cell Institute

Past initiatives

Stem Cells IRC Small Funding Grants 2023

This grant invites postgraduate researchers and postdoctoral research fellows to submit applications for research funding and training, rooted in stem cell research that fosters integration along disciplines. The scheme is open to all postgraduate researchers and postdoctoral research fellows of the University with an interest in stem cell research, either individually or in a small team. 


Collaboration Creation Days - Interdisciplinary Workshop

13, 16, and 26 September 2022 

This 3-day workshop aimed at early-career researchers included talks from experts in the fields of Chemical Engineering, Physical Biology, and Stem Cell Biology, as well as group work and a chance to earn a small grant. Read about the winners here. 


Dish Life The Game

A unique new game – “part Sims, part Tamagotchi” – lets players inhabit a stem cell researcher as they rise through the ranks: growing cells, scientific collaborations, and reputation.