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Major investment planned for Manchester’s Cell-Matrix Research Centre

07 Dec 2016

The Wellcome Centre for Cell-Matrix Research at the University will receive a major funding boost as part of an £118m injection announced today by charitable foundation, Wellcome Trust

The investment of over £5m for the Manchester site over the next five years will mean the world-class researchers within the Centre can continue to conduct fundamental research into the relationship between cells and matrix to assist with understanding vertebrate development, healthy ageing, and identifying targets for disease intervention.

The Centre, directed by Professor Karl Kadler of the School of Biological Sciences, will also generate new opportunities for clinical research through collaboration with other leading local centres including Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, the Biobank, Manchester Collaborative Centre for Inflammation Research, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, and the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute. 

The Wellcome Centre for Cell-Matrix Research is an interdisciplinary research centre embedded within the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health. It was established in 1995 with the long-term aims of determining the mechanisms underpinning how cell-matrix interactions build mechanically-strong tissues, control normal tissue formation and function, regulate the immune system and cell migration, and how their disruption causes diseases such as fibrosis, kidney disease, and musculoskeletal conditions.

Thirteen Wellcome Centres across the UK, along with one in Cape Town, South Africa, will receive part of £118m investment, seven of which will be newly established centres while the rest will explore new avenues under a refreshed vision.

Professor Ian Greer, Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health said: “This investment is fantastic news for Manchester and the research community in the UK as a whole.

“Facilities like the Centre for Cell-Matrix Research provide a fundamental source of knowledge and understanding on cutting-edge biological research which is hugely beneficial in aiding our understanding of illnesses and diseases which will probably affect all our lives in some way.

“The funding will mean that our team of dedicated and highly skilled staff can continue their crucial work for the next five years, thus supporting Wellcome with its philosophy to improve human health, and ensuring The University of Manchester maintains its position at the forefront of pioneering health research.”

Wellcome Trust Director, Dr Jeremy Farrar, said: “Wellcome Centres play a special role in the global research ecosystem. By creating places where researchers can flourish we can catalyse world-leading research and translation, and amplify its influence and impact.

“At Wellcome we believe in long term support for discovery-driven science, and Wellcome Centres are an outstanding environment for researchers to further our understanding of fundamental biology, accelerate translation to clinical practice, and explore the social and cultural context of medicine."