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

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Members of the Centre ran the Body Experience at the Manchester Museum on Saturday 26th March. 8 hours, 16 stands, 67 researchers, 15 volunteers, 2 science buskers, 540 passports, one brilliant day! Watch here https://storify.com/CeriHarrop/body-experience Read more

Our discoveries

Our core facilities

Our public engagement activities

Our research

Our publications

Latest News


Congratulations to Martin Humhries and Rachel Lennon on receiving funding for the next 5 years! Martin has been awarded a Cancer Research UK programme grant entitled "Stromal rigidity as a driver of pancreatic cancer cell proliferation" whilst Rachel now holds a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship in Clinical Science on "Targeting force regulation to treat kidney disease" Read more

Upcoming events


Join artists and scientists to discover, play and create together with your family this summer at the Whitworth.  Explore what makes us human and how living things respond to the world around them.  Look at the Whitworth with new eyes together with scientists and get closer than ever to our collections. Be inspired by patterns in art and nature to create your own colourful artworks to take home.  This event is drop-in and designed for all ages. 11am-3pm and will be held on Tuesday 26th July Read more

Latest Discoveries

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The nuclear envelope (NE) forms a physical barrier that separates the nucleus from the cytosol, and preserves chromatin integrity. The NE, which is composed of lamins and nuclear pore complexes, regulates nucleocytoplasmic traffic and controls genomic functions. Defects in the NE are associated with cancer, premature ageing, and laminopathies (which are rare genetic disorders caused by mutations in genes encoding NE proteins). Read more


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