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


This year as part of the British Science Week celebrations, the Centre along with colleagues from across FBMH took over Manchester Museum for the Body Experience.  With people waiting for the doors to open at 10am, the visitors were non-stop! The Thornton, Lennon, Streuli, Gilmore and Swift labs worked incredibly hard entertaining and inspiring the public all day.  We saw over 2000 visitors, handed out 750 passports and 500 bags, hosted over 80 researchers across 18 stands with 12 volunteers Read more

Our discoveries

Our core facilities

Our public engagement activities

Our research

Our publications

Latest News


Lots of visitors to the Centre over the last month with the Labs being kept busy training people on new techniques!  Sian Baldock from the University of Leicester visited the Thornton Lab for collaborative work on the interaction of P. aeruginosa with respiratory mucins in mystic fibrosis from 6-7 February.   The Humphries Lab hosted Rosie Gough, a PhD student from Ben Goult’s lab at the University of Kent. Rosie visited the lab for two weeks to undertake experiments analysing Talin Read more

Upcoming events


Paul DeAngelis, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. "Glycosaminoglycan Engineering: Towards Novel Polymers, New Tools, & Next-Gen Therapeutics". Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), a class of polysaccharides that includes hyaluronan, heparin and chondroitin, are essential macromolecules in mammals. GAGs have therapeutic potential in areas ranging from angiogenesis, inflammation, hemostasis, tissue engineering/regenerative medicine, and cancer. GAG bioactivity is conferred by intrinsic Read more

Latest Discoveries


We have discovered that in addition to CCL5, CXCL8 and CXCL11, TSG-6 interacts with at least 7 other chemokines (i.e. CCL2, CCL7, CCL19, CCL21, CCL27, CXCL4, and CXCL12) including those involved in both homeostatic and inflammatory functions. TSG-6 interacts (via its Link module) with the GAG-binding site on the chemokines, thereby inhibiting the binding of chemokines to GAGs and their presentation on endothelial cells; TSG-6 also inhibits the binding of chemokines to collagen, providing another Read more


New research has for the first time shown that our spinal discs have 24-hour body clocks which when they malfunction, can contribute to lower back pain. Lower back pain is amongst the most prevalent spinal diseases associated with increasing age, with over 80% of the UK population predicted to experience back pain within their lifetime. Progressive degeneration of the spine disc is a major contributing factor. Ageing and inflammation are major causes of disc degeneration and lower back pain. In Read more