Bioscience research at Newcastle is part of the Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences. We integrate traditional bioscience disciplines to investigate the steps from genotype to phenotype. Our research also incorporates chemistry, biophysics and eukaryotic-microbial models.
We offer MPhil, PhD and MD supervision in all of our main research areas. You will join a vibrant research community of about 100 postgraduate research students in the Institute. You will work in one of our established research groups alongside postdoctoral researchers, senior students and staff. You will be encouraged to present your work in the Institute and at scientific meetings.
Our staff are successful in attracting postgraduate funding from diverse sources, such as:
- UK Research Councils, including a BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership
- Industrial CASE awards
- UK and international government initiatives.
Quality and Ranking
We rank in the top 100 for Medicine - QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019
Our results in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 were exceptional. We were ranked 1st for research output amongst all UK submitted university biosciences departments (UoA5 - Biological Sciences Unit of Assessment). In the overall scores, the Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences (UoA5) was 5th out of 44 UK submissions.
Our research is divided into four themes, each linked to a research group.
Bacterial Cell Biology Group
The Bacterial Cell Biology Group focuses on the fundamental aspects of cell biology, biochemistry and pathogenicity of eubacteria. Together with colleagues from Computing Sciences, they form the Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology (CBCB). The CBCB is the world’s largest research centre focussed on the molecular and cellular biology of bacterial cells and bacterial cell wall biosynthesis. Using a wide range of biochemical, genetic and microscopic approaches, researchers reveal fundamental cell mechanisms including:
- bacterial cell wall biosynthesis
- cell division including plasmid and chromosome segregation
- cellular response to phage infection
- genetic competence
- the action of toxin–antitoxin genes and mRNA cleaving enzymes
- secretion chaperones involved in the regulation of flagellar assembly
- microbial protein secretion
- responses to environmental stress
- gene expression and regulatory networks
- determination and control of cell shape.
Epithelial Biology Group
The Epithelial Biology Group focuses on universal organising principles that include the processes governing the specialised roles of epithelial cells in:
- epithelial transport
- health and disease.
Proteins: Structure, Function and Evolution Group
The Proteins: Structure, Function and Evolution Group is united by the common goal of seeking to understand the nature of protein:protein and protein:ligand structure/function relationships at the molecular level. In particular, members focus on:
- macromolecular X-ray crystallography
- structures of proteins crucial to bacterial cell division
- metals in cells
- protein-carbohydrate interactions in macromolecular and cellular recognition
- molecular and cellular evolution of eukaryotic cells, their genomes and organelles
- membrane protein structure:function relationships
- archaeal DNA polymerases.
Sensing, Signalling and Expression Group
The Sensing, Signalling and Expression Group is concerned with how DNA is replicated and expressed, and how this expression can be altered by sensing change, in the environment or within the eukaryotic cell. Research in this area is aimed at explaining the molecular signalling pathways that regulate membrane, cytoplasmic and nuclear events in eukaryotic cells, including signalling specific to:
- cellular ageing
- cell division and differentiation
- cell cycle control
- calcium homeostasis
- environmental sensing
- infection and immunity
- organelle function.
Current research interests, projects and publications are available from our staff profiles.
Find out more about postgraduate research study in the Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences.
The Intern Scholarship Scheme provides you with the opportunity to develop your skills by working in industry, the public sector or a charity. These internships are available following submission of your thesis.
Some UK research council-funded studentship programmes, such as CASE studentships and DTP studentships, offer industrial or other work experience training as an integral part of the programme.
Our Postgraduate Student Association, the Postgraduate Network in ICaMB (PAN!C) organises an annual Careers Symposium. Guests have included speakers from industry (pharmaceutical and biotechnology), small and medium enterprises, medical charities, patent and trade mark attorneys, and national newspapers.
A number of successful spin off companies have been created by institute staff. This is testimony to our intellectual and innovative capacity, and our ability to translate biosciences research to the industrial setting.
Research in the Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences is supported by a wide range of facilities, including services and equipment for:
- cell imaging
- high throughput technologies
- bioinformatics and proteomics
- transcriptomics and X-ray crystallography
- proteomics and biological mass spectrometry.
Underpinning our status as a world leading research institute was the construction of the Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology(CBCB) that was opened in 2010.