• Photo of the new LMB building opened in 2012

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

Testing the capacity for intracellular antibodies to neutralise SARS-CoV-2

A plate in which a plaque assay has been performed to measure virus quantity in a sample. Cells are stained blue so that holes represent areas where viral infection has occurred

While infected with SARS-CoV-2, our immune systems generate antibodies against both Spike (S) and Nucleoprotein (N). However, standard tests only show neutralisation for S-antibodies. Leo James’ group has developed a new assay that measures anti-viral activity of N-antibodies.

Discovery of a key piece of the puzzle of tubular organ formation

Laser-ablation of microtubules (in green) in cells leads to fast recruitment of the protein Patronin (in magenta) to newly formed microtubule minus ends.

Although the cytoskeleton is known to play an important role in determining cell, and therefore organ, shape, how components of the cytoskeleton are reorganised during tube formation is unclear. Katja Röper’s group has identified a mechanism behind this.

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