About us


An interdisciplinary research centre embedded within the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health at The University of Manchester.

Research Themes

Vision: To determine the mechanisms underpinning how cell-matrix interactions control normal tissue formation and function, and how their disruption causes disease. 

For everyone


Friday 30 September saw a take-over of the Manchester Museum for European Researchers Night. The Grencis & Thornton Labs (Eamon Dubiassi, Maya Glover, Gareth Hughes) hosted a brilliant interactive stand all about their research on mucus and the microbiome. Jade Whittingham-Dowd gave a talk on mucus in the Lightening Talks in The Study whilst Rebecca Shears and Dave Thornton entertained and inspired the public in the Science Bar.  Read more

Our discoveries

Our core facilities

Our public engagement activities

Our research

Our publications

Latest News


We are delighted to announce that the Wellcome Centre for Cell-Matrix Research (WCCMR) has been renewed, to 2021.  The WCCMR is one of 15 Wellcome Centres that cover biomedical research, the medical humanities, social societies and translational research. The renewal brings together 20 academic staff, 9 support staff, and a community of postdocs and postgraduate students whose research is focused in three new themes of chronobiology, immunobiology and mechanobiology, and a new overarching Read more

Upcoming events

The Biomolecular Analysis Core Facility is holding a Workshop on Wednesday 23rd November 2-5 p.m.  The workshop will begin with an overview of the Biophysics instruments available in the Facility, followed by short talks focussing on how to use the instruments to generate high-quality research data.  Read more

Latest Discoveries

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By following up the role of one of these changes, we have determined that active integrin complexes establish an environment that stabilises microtubules at the cell periphery. Read more


Using cultured tissue explant model, we discovered that exposure of hip cartilages to IL-1β (but not TNFα) abolished their circadian rhythms. This effect was reversed by dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory compound. The IL-1β disrupted circadian rhythm was accompanied by dysregulation of endogenous clock genes and also clock-controlled catabolic pathways. Mechanistically, NFкB signalling was involved in mediating the IL-1β response, partly through its functional interference with the core Read more