Microscopy image of different cell types in the mouse hypothalamus

Confocal microscopy of the mouse hypothalamus by Alex Donovan (Brand lab)

Studying development to understand disease

The Gurdon Institute is a world-leading centre for research at the interface between developmental biology and cancer biology

Latest news & publications

Microscopy image of HeLa cells stained pink with blue nuclei
NewsPublic engagement

Join us to explore the incredible story of Henrietta Lacks

Live Biology Book Club event- FREE for all Year 12 students and teachers

June 16, 2022

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Photo of drawer full of metal microscope components
PublicationSt Johnston

Optimising spinning disk microscopy for imaging with PAINT

June 7, 2022

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Fruit fly brain imaged with NanoDam technique fluorescent markers

NanoDam finds missing temporal factors

May 9, 2022

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Researcher in darkened room looking donw microscope (Donovan A in Brand lab)

Deciphering Notch’s targets and mechanism

April 25, 2022

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About us

Our mission is to understand the fundamental mechanisms of normal development, to determine how these mechanisms are subverted in cancer and other diseases, and to use this knowledge to develop new therapies.

The Institute is embedded within the University of Cambridge, with superb infrastructure core-funded by Wellcome and Cancer Research UK. Our location facilitates interactions across the University as well as with the vibrant technical hub of Silicon Fen.

Wellcome and CRUK logos combined

Front view of Gurdon Institute

From cell biology to tissue mechanics

Our 18 research groups address mechanisms that underlie development and disease through work in humans, model organisms, organoids and cell systems. We employ state-of-the-art technologies such as super-resolution imaging, single-cell analyses, genome engineering, genomics and computer modelling.

Researchers interact in corridor

Our people

The Institute is a thriving and diverse community where everyone’s contribution is important to achieving our goals.

Our group leaders, many of whom have collected numerous international awards, make important discoveries and seminal contributions in their field. We train postgraduates and postdocs, and are proud that our alumni include over 220 new group leaders pursuing exciting science around the world.

Many of our core support staff, from technical to administrative roles, have been with us for over a decade and the whole team is as committed as our researchers to their work.

Public engagement

The Gurdon Institute is committed to making our fundamental biological research accessible and responsive to the public for the mutual benefits of inspiration, knowledge exchange and trust.

The Institute was granted a Silver Engage Watermark award from the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE), recognising our strategic support for Public Engagement and our continued commitment to innovate and develop our programme and further embed public engagement in our research culture.

A scientist engaging with a child at a festival event