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Postgraduate Admissions

1 course offered in the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit

Mitochondria are well known to be the powerhouses of the cell, but they do much more than this. The MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit was founded by Sir John Walker (Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1997) to investigate  the many roles of mitochondria, both their basic biology and how they contribute to human health and disease. Over the past decades it has become clear that mitochondria are central to the health and function of our cells. Consequently, damage to mitochondria contributes to many important human diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases, inflammation, heart attack, stroke. In addition, genetic mutations cause a series of devastating disorders. In the  MRC Mitochondrial Biology we study aspects of many of these diseases with researchers focussing on many facets of contemporary mitochondrial biology, including understanding protein structures, the ways in which mitochondrial DNA is expressed, how mitochondria interact with the rest of the cell, the roles of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species and the development of new drugs to treat mitochondrial disorders. . If these are of interest, you should look at the Unit’s Website and contact a potential supervisor or contact Penny Peck ( for advice.    

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2 courses also advertised in the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit

From the Department of Clinical Biochemistry

We provide high-quality research training to clinical health professionals with an aptitude for research to enable them to become future leaders in medical and healthcare science. We can offer training in an outstanding environment, spanning basic science, translational medicine, interdisciplinary, behavioural and applied health research.

We take great pride in our track record of successfully training health professionals to undertake the highest quality research across Cambridge and Norwich. We offer one of the most rewarding environments in which you could pursue your research training with world-leading researchers in The  Schools of Clinical Medicine and Biological Sciences at the Universities of Cambridge, Wellcome Sanger Institute and other MRC, Wellcome & Cancer Research UK funded Institutes, Centres & Units in the wider Cambridge area, as well as the School of Health Sciences and Norwich Medical School at the University of East Anglia with other partners on the Norwich Research Park.  All we ask is the pursuit of research excellence, hard work and the will to make a difference to health.

The programme faculty provides mentoring and guidance on opportunities to undertake pre-doctoral research placements, enabling successful candidates to make an informed choice of PhD project and supervisor. Bespoke training and support for career development for fellows, together with support to supervisors, ensures a successful research experience. Post-doctorally, we will guide fellows based on their individual progress, to make the transition into higher research fellowships and clinical pathways, enabling ongoing training with continuance of research momentum.

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From the Department of Medicine

This innovative programme was established in 2002 as a collaboration between the University of Cambridge and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US. Its aim is to train outstanding students in biomedical research, taking advantage of the excellent research environments. Students work on collaborative projects organised by co-supervisors at both Cambridge and the NIH, spending two years at each institution. Students have access to all NIH facilities and are paid by the NIH. The PhD is awarded by the University of Cambridge.

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Department Members

Professor Judy Hirst
Head of Department

  • 10 Academic Staff
  • 20 Postdoctoral Researchers
  • 38 Graduate Students

Research Areas