About us

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An interdisciplinary research centre embedded within the Faculty of Life Sciences 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

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Learn all about the Immortality exhibition, a art-science collaboration between Sally Gilford and the Centre, on YouTube Read more

Our discoveries

Our core facilities

Our public engagement activities

Our research

Our publications

Latest News

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Press release Qing-Jun Meng’s ARUK Senior Fellowship Award and related research has been featured on: That’s Manchester TV headline news  BBC Radio interview University of Manchester highlighted news Read more

Upcoming events

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9th June - Jenny Nichols, University of Cambridge.  22nd June - Herbert Schiller, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried.  "Systems Biology of the Extracellular Niche in Chronic Lung Disease" Read more

Latest Discoveries

 
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Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are essential signaling molecules that are important both for embryo development and for maintaining normal tissue function. Outside the cell, inhibitors such as chordin regulate BMPs. Chordin binds to BMPs, obstructing them from binding to their cell surface receptors, and thereby preventing them from working. The structure of chordin is unknown, because extracellular proteins are generally not suitable for high-resolution structure determination methods. Read more

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The polysaccharide hyaluronan (HA) plays a crucial role in the formation of an elastic and hydrated matrix that forms around the oocyte prior to its release from the ovary. The correct assembly and mechanical properties of this matrix are necessary for successful ovulation, transport of the oocyte into the oviduct and for fertilisation. Previous research has identified three proteins involved in the stabilisation of this matrix – inter-a-inhibitor (IaI), TSG-6 and pentraxin-3 – but how they Read more