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


The week of the Manchester Science Festival was a busy one indeed! We hosted 5 days of Autumn Studio session at The Whitworth, alongside Sally Gilford and others. The week was a busy one, with over 400 prints made, all inspired by the research of the Cell Matrix Centre and the current exhibitions in the gallery. 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


Integration of seven mass spectrometric analysis of the adhesion nexus demonstrated that a small number of proteins (tens) establish its framework and a larger cohort of more transient proteins (hundreds) tune its function to intra- and extracellular stimuli. Analysis of the protein-protein interaction network of the adhesion nexus identified four interconnected axes that relay force to the cytoskeleton. Read more

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We have now identified a crucial molecular pathway by which Tregs dampen ongoing inflammation. Thus, expression of the cell surface molecule integrin αvβ8 is upregulated by Tregs that are themselves activated in the inflammatory environment, and this enables the Tregs to activate high levels of the cytokine TGFβ. This pathway is absolutely required for Tregs to dampen ongoing inflammation in mice, and also appears to be conserved in humans. We have therefore identified an important pathway by Read more