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Research overview

Research in the Department of Biochemistry focuses on the fundamental processes of biological systems, with a particular emphasis on understanding at the molecular level. It encompasses a range of organisms — microbial, plant and animal — and harnesses a variety of approaches from mouse models of human disease, advanced magnetic resonance imaging, atomic resolution structural techniques, to mathematical modelling and systems biology.

Research programmes in the department are led by over 40 independent principal investigators (PIs), who include both established University staff as well as independent research fellows funded by the Royal Society, research councils and charities. A number of the PIs have dual affiliations with research institutes including the Gurdon Institute, the Centre for Stem Cell Research, the Systems Biology Centre, the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute, and MRC Human Nutrition Research. Our research is grouped into nine themes: DNA and chromatin biology, RNA biology, chemical biology & drug design, molecular microbiology, plant biochemistry and bioenergy, signalling and trafficking, disease biology, systems biology and stem cell biology. The themes are not mutually exclusive and many PIs carry out research that spans two or more themes. Reflecting the cutting edge, interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of our research, PIs in Biochemisry contribute to a number of the University’s strategic research initiatives including Cancer, Energy, Infectious Diseases, Neuroscience and Stem Cells.

Our research is facilitated by state of the art facilities for structural biology, bioinformatics, biophysics, protein analysis, biological mass spectrometry and DNA sequencing. These services are available to researchers from outside the Department and we likewise benefit from complementary facilities housed in neighbouring departments and institutes within the School of Biological Sciences.