• Photo of the new LMB building opened in 2012

LMB COVID response

You can now apply to the LMB International PhD Programme for October 2022 start.

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 DNA damage induces appetite suppression and weight loss

Model outlining how formaldehyde can damage the proximal tubules and trigger release of the anorexic hormone GDF15 which results in food aversion, presumably to reduce the burden of ingested toxins. Inset, model of the molecular mechanism by which ADH5 and CSB cooperate to protect cells from formaldehyde damage, which is sensed by the stalled transcription machinery and can trigger p53 dependent activation of GDF15.

DNA damage caused by formaldehyde is repaired involving CSA and CSB genes. KJ Patel’s lab have shown how, when this pathway is mutated such as in people with Cockayne syndrome, the appetite suppression hormone GDF15 is released leading to severe weight loss.

Early transcriptional patterning of a forming tissue is essential to morphogenesis of a tubular organ

Time-lapse quantitative study of developing salivary glands in Drosophila embryos, conducted by Katja Röper’s group, reveals the key control factors behind cells’ behavioural transitions that are essential for correct organ formation.

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