• Photo of the new LMB building opened in 2012

In line with government instructions, members of the LMB are working from home where possible. The LMB buildings remain open for research and work that cannot be conducted from home, in accordance with the LMB COVID-19 risk assessment. All meetings will be held via video or teleconferencing. Travel for work is not permitted, nor are visitors to any LMB building unless essential (prior permission required).

COVID-19 research remains active at LMB, with over 12 separate strands of research into various aspects of the SARS-CoV-2 virus underway:

How the LMB is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic


About Us

The MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) is a research institute dedicated to the understanding of important biological processes at the levels of atoms, molecules, cells and organisms. In doing so, we provide knowledge needed to solve key problems in human health.

Our scientists tackle fundamental, often difficult and long-term research problems. The LMB has made revolutionary contributions to science, such as pioneering X-ray crystallography and electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM) to determine protein structures, the sequencing of DNA and the development of monoclonal antibodies. Twelve Nobel Prizes have been awarded for work carried out by LMB scientists.

The LMB also promotes the application and exploitation of our research findings, both by collaboration with existing companies and the founding of new ones, helping to advance medical research and the translation and application of knowledge.

The LMB provides an unsurpassed environment for both young and established researchers, with state-of-the-art facilities and a unique scientific culture. The LMB has always been very diverse, with a truly international outlook. We currently employ men and women from over 50 countries, and LMB alumni work in research organisations across the world.

Insight on Research

How timing in early brain development sets humans apart from apes

Human and ape neural progenitors

The advent of brain organoid technology has enabled scientists to begin to ask what makes us human. Madeline Lancaster’s group has identified differences in early brain development that can help to explain the increased number of neurons in human brains over other apes.

Capturing the activation of a lipid kinase on membranes by G-proteins

Electron cryo-tomography of VPS34 complex II bound to Rab5 on lipid vesicles, shows a range of orientations of the complex relative to the membrane, which allows the activated VPS34 kinase to survey the vesicle for substrate.

Rare lipids in our cell membranes act as postcodes to operate regulatory processes such as autophagy and endocytosis. Roger Williams, together with Sean Munro’s and John Brigg’s groups, have shown how the G-proteins Rab1 and Rab5 activate these processes respectively, through conformational changes of kinase VPS34 complexes.

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