The Medical Research Council Brain Network Dynamics Unit at the University of Oxford (MRC BNDU) is uniquely multidisciplinary and integrates exceptional research programmes covering clinical, experimental and computational neuroscience. The MRC BNDU's collective goal is to understand and exploit the moment-to-moment interactions between nerve cells that are critical for brain functions, with a special focus on the brain circuits underlying movement and memory. In achieving this, the MRC BNDU aims to develop and deliver novel therapies that specifically target the disturbed circuit interactions arising in disease.
The MRC Human Immunology Unit at the University of Oxford (MRC HIU) undertakes research in human immunology, applying this knowledge to the development of better treatment strategies against infectious diseases, cancer, allergy and autoimmune diseases. The HIU research spans basic to translational immunology with experimental medicine programmes and clinical trials in vaccine development for infectious diseases and cancer, therapies for eczema and for multiple sclerosis. HIU has strong interactions with clinical medicine making studies on patients and patient material possible, fostering the pursuit of basic discovery in the clinic and the development of new therapeutic approaches. The unit collaborates closely with other groups in the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford.
The MRC Molecular Haematology Unit at the University of Oxford (MRC MHU) investigates the processes by which multipotential haemopoietic stem cells become committed and differentiate into the highly specialised cells found in the peripheral blood (red cells, granulocytes, lymphocytes and platelets). The MRC MHU studies how these processes are perturbed in acquired and inherited blood diseases (e.g. thalassaemia, myelodysplasia and leukaemias). MRC MHU research is closely integrated with the National Health Service, giving access to patients with haematological disease and clinical material, thus ensuring that the Unit’s scientific developments can be rapidly translated into improved clinical care. The unit collaborates closely with other groups in the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine at the University of Oxford.
The mission of the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (MRC WIMM) is to investigate the processes underlying normal cell and molecular biology and to determine the mechanisms by which these processes are perturbed in inherited and acquired human diseases. The MRC WIMM combines outstanding clinical research with excellent basic science through an equal mixture of scientists and clinicians working together and in collaboration with the National Institute of Health Research, the National Health Service and with commercial companies with the aim of improving the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases. The major topics of current research include haematology, immunology, stem cell biology, oncology and inherited human genetic diseases. The MRC WIMM hosts the MRC Molecular Haematology Unit and MRC Human Immunology Unit.
The MRC Population Health Research Unit at the University of Oxford (MRC PHRU) is funded by a strategic partnership between the MRC and the University of Oxford.
Directed by Professor Colin Baigent, the MRC PHRU aims to generate reliable evidence from large-scale randomised trials, genetic or classical epidemiological studies and meta-analyses, leading directly to practical methods of avoiding premature death and disability, or to an understanding of disease mechanisms. Its focus is chronic disease, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, renal disease and cancer.
The MRC Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology (MRC OIRO), directed by Professor Amato Giaccia, explores aspects of radiation biology that have direct applicability to the treatment of cancer. This includes understanding how cells respond to and repair radiation-induced DNA damage, defining the microenvironmental factors that affect these responses and identifying targets to alter tumour or normal tissue responses to radiation. In addition, the Institute integrates basic research with imaging science to advance the application of multimodality functional imaging to radiation therapy and earlier detection of secondary cancers.