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Department of Pathology


The Medical Research Council (MRC) has awarded £7 million towards seven new collaborative research projects aiming to understand human diseases better.

The complexities of human physiology mean that many components work within the body, across different scales (from molecules and cells to tissues, organisms and our environment). These research projects will use a collaborative approach which combines innovative techniques and technologies in new ways to link across these biological scales.


From cancer and neurodegeneration to kidney disease and diabetes, the funding has been awarded to various institutes across the UK that will lead innovative research collaborations which connect two or more teams with expertise in different and complementary research techniques and/or spatial scales.


Institutes include the University of Cambridge University of Birmingham, University of Leeds, University College London, The Francis Crick Institute, Imperial College London and Cardiff University.


Professor John Iredale, MRC Executive Chair said: “The awards are the result of the MRC’s competitive multimodal research funding call which was narrowed down to 7 diverse projects that span across the MRC’s research funding remit. 

The MRC is dedicated to funding research which addresses some of the biggest problems in health. These multimodal projects provide an opportunity for novel research that pushes the boundaries of the current understanding of human disease.”


Dr Michael Boemo and his team have been awarded funding for their work on the integration of physiological tissue models and machine learning to understand genomic instability from oncogene activation to cancer initiation


This is a joint project led by the University of Birmingham, the University of Cambridge and Queen Mary University of London.


Genes that cause abnormal growth of cells and the development of cancer are called oncogenes. Some types of viruses that can cause cancer, such as human papillomavirus (HPV), bring viral oncogenes into the cells they infect, which then cause mutations in the chromosomes, called genomic instability.


This project will aim to discover the initiating mechanisms leading to genomic instability in HPV-infected cells, which would provide a vital step forward in understanding what causes cells to become cancerous and will be instrumental in improving the early detection and treatment of cancer.




Dr Michael Boemo

Michael and his lab work in computational biology.

Their research establishes new computational methods to show how dysregulation or faults in cell cycle mechanisms results in cancer.

Keep up with Michael and his project on Twitter @MichaelABoemo

Find out more about the lab's work here>







Image credit: Cancer Cells