• 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

Cryptochrome proteins are integral to maintain time within the brain’s master clock

Schematic using confocal microscopy (upper images) shows the localisation of fluorescently-tagged, endogenous PER2 (green), present in the nuclei of SCN neurons (blue). In the absence of CRY proteins, PER2 was instead localised predominantly within the cytoplasm and exhibited greater overall intracellular mobility (middle schematic), with absence of rhythmicity in SCN brain slices (lower schematic). Resuming CRY expression to a critical threshold only partially relocalised PER2 protein to the nucleus, yet was sufficient to fully restore rhythmicity to SCN brain slices (right most panels).

Using synthetic biological techniques, Michael Hastings’ group have collaborated with Jason Chin to gain novel insights into the molecular and cellular processes which govern the suprachiasmatic nucleus, and identified a key regulatory role of cryptochrome clock proteins.

Atomic structures of Aβ42 filaments from the brains of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions

Atomic structure for Type I (Left) and Type II (Right) of amyloid-β 42 filaments

Collaboration between Sjors Scheres’ (Structural Studies), Benjamin Ryskeldi-Falcon’s and Michel Goedert’s (both Neurobiology) groups have used cryo-EM to reveal structures of Aβ42 filaments, the key factor behind the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease.

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Latest Publications


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