About LMCB


LMCB at UCL is a Medical Research Council-UCL University Unit and centre for
research into fundamental aspects of cell function and their links to human
disease. The institute is located in the heart of the Gower Street Campus of UCL and currently
houses twenty research groups funded by the MRC, Cancer Research UK, The
Wellcome Trust and University College London. The LMCB opened in 1993 under the
leadership of Professor Colin Hopkins as one of the first centres for cell biology
in the UK. In April 2001, a new MRC Cell Biology Unit (CBU) was incorporated
within the LMCB with Professor Alan Hall as Director. Following Professor
Hall's resignation in March 2006, Professor Mark Marsh was appointed as
Director and in 2013 the MRC-UCL University Unit was established. The MRC LMCB
is now a division within UCL’s Faculty of Life Sciences.


The LMCB occupies around 3,000m2 of floor space
accommodating some 150 bench scientists working in 20 independent research
groups supported by numerous funding bodies. Seventeen MRC funded infrastructure
posts ensure the efficient management, administration and servicing of all LMCB
groups. Since 1993, the MRC has supported a four-year PhD programme (the first
in the UK) and this continues to be a major strength and success of the MRC LMCB.
For more details, see the Graduate Programme pages on this site.

ratioimageCramerlab.jpgScientific focus

scientific focus of the MRC LMCB is to develop new molecular understandings of
cell function and behaviour through discovery-based research. Cell biology is
one of the most exciting and important areas of biomedical research and is
likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. Major human diseases such as
cancer, inflammation, neuro-degeneration and bacterial/viral infection are
primarily diseases of cells, and without a molecular understanding of the
underlying cell mechanisms, intelligent directed therapeutic intervention is
impossible. Our philosophy is that multi-disciplinarily is an essential
ingredient for promoting imaginative and innovative discoveries in cell
biology. The MRC LMCB has developed an overall programme of research that is
diverse yet synergistic and has achieved this by maintaining a balance of
complementary areas of cell biology, recruiting the best scientists in these
areas and facilitating integration throughout institute as well as the wider
UCL community. The current scientific strengths of the MRC LMCB include
neuronal signalling and development, the cell biology of viral replication,
cytoskeletal architecture and regulation, polarity & morphogenesis, protein
trafficking and cell division. These strengths have impact in many areas of
human disease, including neuronal and visual disorders, cancer, HIV/AIDS, inflammation
and visual disorders, as well as in novel therapeutic approaches, including
stem cells and tissue repair/regeneration. The work is supported by five advanced
technical platforms including electron microscopy , light
, super
resolution imaging
, high
throughput/high content screening
and imaging


As well as our strong focus on research we
aim to provide a vibrant and supportive working and training environment that
encourages creative thinking and productivity for all staff and students. This
includes various opportunities for social interactions (that may lead to better
science or new collaborations).  As well as a comfortable tearoom and meeting
rooms, all MRC LMCB staff have access to the recreational facilities of UCL,
including refectories, theatres, a gym, lunch time lectures, training
opportunities and common rooms. The MRC LMCB holds monthly themed cocktail
events, celebratory cakes or champagne to mark important scientific
achievements, Christmas events, an annual institute picnic, and a biennial
retreat that includes a ceilidh and skits, where we poke fun at ourselves. 
There have also been friendly football matches, running groups who train together
and then run for various charities, an international dining group, and other
events, depending on the interests of those in the LMCB at any one time. 
Many labs mark birthdays or other life events as well as taking the opportunity
for occasional lunch-time or after-work get-togethers.  We aim to
encourage and support all who work at the MRC LMCB in many different ways and
we were the first UCL department to be awarded an Athena Swan Award.


University Links


The physical
location of the LMCB/CBU within the research environment of the UCL campus is a major attraction and offers
possibilities for interactions with a large and diverse life sciences community. Many group leaders have
secondary appointments in other UCL departments and, while their primary role
is research, individuals contribute to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching,
particularly in more specialised courses.