Max Perutz Fund

Max Perutz Fund Header

The Max Perutz Fund was set up in June 1980 in honour of Dr Max Perutz and was established to promote and advance education and research in molecular biology and allied biomedical sciences. The Fund is an incorporated charity (Charity Commission No. 1129597, Company Registration No. 6876186). The Director of the LMB is Chairman of the Trustees, and the other Directors/Trustees are currently Dr Kevin Moreton, Dr Ingo Greger, Dr Elizabeth Miller and Dr Leo James.

The Fund now incorporates several other funds available to support work in the LMB. This includes donations in honour of LMB scientists Dr Fred Sanger and Dr Cesar Milstein, and donations for specific purposes. The following general funds are held within the Max Perutz Fund:

Perutz Fund

Max Perutz joined J. D. Bernal’s crystallographic lab at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, in 1936, as a graduate student from Vienna. From 1947, his research was funded by the MRC when they established a ‘Research Unit for the Study of the Molecular Structure of Biological Systems’ for which Max and his co-worker John Kendrew were founders. Together, they pioneered the technique of protein crystallography, leading to the elucidation of the first protein structures: myoglobin (John) and haemoglobin (Max). They were jointly awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. In the same year, LMB opened and, as well as being founder and the first Chairman, Max continued his research on protein structures. He retired as Chairman in 1979, and the Max Perutz Fund was established in his honour.

This Fund is used for the annual LMB student prizes awarded to promising graduate students who have completed an outstanding piece of research within four years of starting their PhD studies. It is also used for other approved purposes such as attendance at major overseas scientific conferences by students and young scientists within the LMB.

Milstein Fund

César Milstein was born in Argentina in 1927. After completing Ph.D.s in both Buenos Aires and Cambridge, and a brief spell of research back in Argentina, he joined the LMB in 1963 and spent the rest of his life here. He developed an early interest in immunology, and at the LMB his research concentrated on antibody structure and diversity. In the early 1970’s, with his post-doc Georges Köhler, they developed the technique to produce monoclonal antibodies, for which they were jointly awarded the 1984 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. This technique has been used for diagnostics and developed further by LMB colleagues for therapeutic applications, leading to the creation of several MRC spin-out companies. César continued his research on how somatic mutation arises in immunoglobulin genes. He died in Cambridge on 24 March 2002.

This Fund is used to support a Studentship or a Fellowship to enable a young scientist from South America to undertake research at the LMB.

Geoffrey Grigg Traveling Fellowship

Geoffrey Grigg was an Australian visitor to the LMB with Fred Sanger in 1972-1974 and Greg Winter in 1988, and often visited the LMB, especially in the 1990s. He played a key role in the founding and/or financing of Cambridge Antibody Technology and Domantis, two start-up biotechnology companies based on work originating in the LMB. After his death in 2008, the LMB and the Garvan Institute in Sydney set up a traveling Fellowship to honour his memory, raising money from his friends in Cambridge and Sydney. The aim of the Fellowship is to expedite short (one to three month) scientific exchange visits between the two institutions.

Prospective applicants from the LMB should apply to the Director of the LMB by email to at least one month in advance of the proposed trip, and preferably longer. The application should include a brief description (one page) of the proposed project or collaboration, a breakdown of the estimated costs, and notes from their Group Leader and the Garvan host signifying approval. The Director will check that the visit is acceptable to the Director of the Garvan, and then pass the proposal to the Max Perutz Fund for consideration by the Trustees. If the application is successful, the Max Perutz Fund will pay some or all of the estimated travel and accommodation costs from funds earmarked for this purpose. Applicants from the Garvan should apply to the Director of the Garvan Institute.

Neuberger Studentship Fund

Neuberger_student_fundMichael Neuberger was Deputy Director of the LMB and Head of the PNAC Division. Michael died on Saturday 26 October 2013, after several months of serious illness. He was an outstanding and brilliant scientist and the Max Perutz Fund would like to honour his memory by establishing a named studentship based at the LMB in collaboration with Trinity College. To establish a rolling studentship will take a substantial fund so we would be very grateful if you would consider donating what you can.

Brenner Postdoc Prize

Sydney BrennerSydney Brenner joined the MRC Research Unit for the Study of the Molecular Structure of Biological Systems (now the LMB) in 1956, after medical studies in South Africa and a PhD in Oxford.  His move to Cambridge was partly due to the efforts of Francis Crick and once in Cambridge, Sydney and Francis shared an office and ideas for more than 20 years. They were both interested in unravelling the genetic code and this led to the discovery, largely by Sydney, of messenger RNA in 1961. Sydney then initiated the work on the nematode worm, C. elegans, to study how genes regulate organ development and how cells are programmed to die.  For this work Sydney, along with Bob Horvitz and John Sulston, was awarded the 2002 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. Sydney was joint Head of the Cell Biology Division, with Francis, from 1963 and Head from 1977-1979.  He was the second Director of the LMB from 1979-1986.  He left the LMB in 1986 and set up the MRC Unit of Molecular Genetics, and in 1995 he founded The Molecular Sciences Institute and was appointed a Distinguished Professor in the Salk Institute, La Jolla, USA.

This annual postdoc prize for outstanding research was made possible by a generous donation from Royalty Pharma to support career development for exceptional postdocs.

General Fund

This Fund is used to fund travel grants and for other approved purposes.

Donating to the Max Perutz Fund

Alumni or others interested in making a donation to further the work of the LMB should consider doing so through the Max Perutz Fund.

There are several ways you can donate to the Max Perutz Fund:

Cash donations

From all countries
A cheque made payable to the “Max Perutz Fund” and sent to Josie Gowler at the following address:

The Max Perutz Fund
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
Francis Crick Avenue
Cambridge Biomedical Campus

If you would like to donate by bank transfer please e-mail for further details.

Tax efficient giving

UK only
For tax-free donations, UK Taxpayers can gift aid their donation by completing the Max Perutz Fund Gift Aid Declaration Form.

Please return the form to the LMB at the address above.

USA only
For those in North America, you can donate tax-free via Cambridge in America. This is used for donations to the University of Cambridge and also for the LMB.

When sending a donation please mark it explicitly for the LMB by giving your Affiliation as ‘MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology’ and if asked where the gift should be designated for put ‘Donation to go to MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge’


Any gift is gratefully received by the charity and one way to do this is through bequests. This form of giving has played a vital role in the development and growth of many similar charities and core activities such as keynote lectures, awards and grants would be secured into the future through this type of long-term support. It is very simple to include a legacy to the Max Perutz Fund in your Will and gifts can be made as a specified sum of money, a proportion of your residuary estate or one or more specific items of your property. Making a bequest to a charity can be an effective way of reducing your inheritance tax.

If you have already made your Will and would like to include us, you can simply add a codicil making the addition or change. A codicil is a separate legal document amending your Will and can be made with the advice of your solicitor. If you would like to tell us about your legacy plans then please contact Josie Gowler ( or 01223 267014).

Many thanks in advance for any donations you are able to give.

Registered Office:
Max Perutz Fund,
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology,
Francis Crick Avenue,
Cambridge Biomedical Campus
CB2 0QH.