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MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit


The Mitochondrial Biology Unit is the world-leading centre of excellence for mitochondrial research. It is also a great place to work, whether as a Postgraduate student or a member of Research or Support staff. The MBU provides an inspirational, outward-facing and inclusive work environment, where talented scientists deliver multi-disciplinary, ground-breaking advances with a direct impact on improving human health.

Please watch our video which showcases life at the Unit: MRC MBU Life in the Lab


Working at the MBU

As a Department of the University of Cambridge, the MBU offers a comprehensive package of remuneration and benefits for its employees, and extensive wellbeing and mentoring programmes are available to all.

Postgraduate students benefit from high quality training in both research and transferable skills: Students receive project-specific training from their supervisor and other experts within the Unit, as well as formal training in more general skills. A second senior academic takes the role of Advisor to every student, and ensures that the student receives the guidance and support they need to make good progress during their time in the Unit. Students are automatically members of the Unit's Postgraduate Student Society, which organises a range of academic and social activities throughout the year. These include regular "journal club" meetings (with pizza) and the annual staff/student quiz. The Society also hosts a number of the Unit's seminar series and are able to meet and discuss their work with all of the internationally renowned speakers who visit the Unit.

The Unit also has a Postdoctoral Society, which facilitates interactions between postdoctoral researches throughout the Unit to create a friendly network of skills and expertise and to welcome new postdocs to the Department.

All members of the Unit benefit from the availability of formal and informal training programmes, and sponsored attendance at national and international conferences.

Links with other institutions in Cambridge

The MBU is a part of the School of Clinical Medicine, is located on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, a hub of academic, clinical and pharmaceutical research, and close to ‘Silicon Fen’, the Cambridge biotech cluster. We work in a close partnership with the Department of Clinical Neurosciences and are well integrated into the local environment, acting as a vital centre promoting mitochondrial biology research, providing expertise, and actively collaborating across Cambridge, such as with the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, Gurdon Institute, MRC Toxicology Unit, Wellcome Sanger Institute, and Departments of Biochemistry, Chemistry and Physics. The Unit works closely with Cambridge Enterprise and a number of local industrial partners to translate basic discoveries into therapies. The Unit’s integration to the University allows us access to University facilities. Important examples include the the Cambridge Advanced Imaging Centre, the Cambridge Centre for Proteomics, the NIHR Cambridge BRC Cell Phenotyping Hub and the Fly Facility in the Department of Genetics, CryoEM facility in the Department of Biochemistry, and the TEM facility in the Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute.

Local amenities

  • A subsidised canteen within the The Keith Peters Building
  • The Frank Lee Leisure and Fitness Centre on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, which offers an excellent range of fitness classes, a swimming pool, gym, squash and tennis courts as well as a bar and restaurant
  • Local schools are amongst the best in the UK
  • Cambridge has easy access to air, rail and road transport links
  • The local area public transport infrastructure is excellent, while the Unit is a member of the local Travel for Work scheme
  • Cambridge is well known to be a good city to cycle around. The Cambridge Cycle Campaign is a local group which campaigns to ensure that good provision for cycling is provided in all local developments.
  • The Unit shares on-site parking with other MRC and University Institutes
  • There is an on-site cycle repair workshop
  • The Unit can arrange temporary accommodation on-site through the Addenbrookes Hospital Trust
  • And, of course, the historic City of Cambridge itself.