Gurdon Institute
Tennis Court Road
Cambridge CB2 1QN


Project leader

Dr. Rick Livesey
Phone +44 1223 763281
Fax +44 1223 334089

Institute presentation

The Institute, an integrated part of Cambridge University, was founded in 1989 to promote research in the areas of developmental biology and cancer biology.  The Institute hosts a number of independent research groups in a purpose-built building designed to promote as much interaction as possible.  Developmental and cancer biology are complementary since developmental biology is concerned with how cells, including stem cells, acquire and maintain their normal function, whereas cancer is a result of a cell breaking loose from its correct controls and becoming abnormal.  Both areas require a detailed knowledge of intra- and intercellular processes, which need to be analysed at the scientific and technical levels.  To understand what goes wrong when a cell becomes cancerous requires knowledge of the processes that ensure correct function in normal development. Professor Sir John Gurdon, a founder of the Institute, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2012 "for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent".