In 1989, the Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK Institute, part of the School of Biological Sciences in the University of Cambridge, was founded to promote research in the areas of developmental biology and cancer biology, and to foster a collaborative environment for independent research groups with diverse but complementary interests.
In 2004 the Institute changed its name to the Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute (and has become known as 'The Gurdon Institute') in recognition of the achievements of Professor Sir John Gurdon, one of the founder members. In 2012, Professor Gurdon was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, and he continues to conduct his research in the Institute.
Developmental biology is concerned with how cells acquire and maintain their normal functions, and cancer is a result of cells escaping from these normal controls. Research in the Gurdon Institute endeavours to extend our understanding of these processes through analysis of intracellular and intercellular activity at cellular and molecular levels.
Our major sponsors are the Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK, and Group Leaders are normally funded in large part by one or the other organisation. The Institute is an integrated part of Cambridge University, and all Group Leaders are affiliated to a University Department and contribute to teaching and graduate student supervision.