About us


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


The Centre has joined a global network, funded by the European Commission for researchers, who study diseases of tendons, cartilage and bone. Manchester will join nine other institutions across the world as participants in the Rubicon project, under the EC’s Horizon 2020 program, coordinated by the University of L'Aquila, Italy. Rubicon-network.org, will run for four years, aiming to increase the understanding of the diseases and to identify new therapies. The participating institutions will Read more

Our discoveries

Our core facilities

Our public engagement activities

Our research

Our publications

Latest News

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Following on from the fantastic collaborative exhibition between local artist Sally Gilford and Christoph Ballestrem, Tony Day and Andrew Gilmore, you can now buy Centre inspired work!     New grants for Tony Day.     Welcome to new PhD student Venkatesh Mallikarjun to Joe Swift's Lab and good luck to Ed Horton who leaves Martin Humphries' Lab for Janine Erler's Lab in Copenhagen. Read more

Upcoming events

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"Cryptic laminin activity regulates matrix metalloproteinase expression during epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition – towards a strategy to target tissue fibrosis".   Read more

Latest Discoveries


The body of an animal is a highly organised structure of tissues and organs that contain cells with specialised roles. To achieve this level of organisation, it is important that embryos can establish a front-to-back axis which involves bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs). BMPs bind to other proteins to provide instructions to cells, but there are inhibitory molecules that can trap BMPs. These inhibitors, and enzymes that break down the inhibitors (i.e. Tolloids), create a gradient of BMP Read more


We have shown that cancer cell migration and invasion deep into 3-dimensional extracellular matrix and in vivo is driven by the remodelling of actin into spike-like bundles of filopodial actin, rather than waves of dendritic actin which make up lamellipodia (as observed in 2D). This is determined by Rab11 vesicles, and its effector Rab-coupling protein, which carry integrins and growth factor receptors to provide a local signal to switch from Rac-Arp2/3 mediated polymerization of a branched Read more