Molecular and Cell Biology

Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Leicester

The Department of Molecular and Cell Biology (MCB) provides infrastructure and a supportive environment for more than 30 active and dynamic research groups, forming a coherent research community with established strengths in the following areas of fundamental and translational scientific research:

The Department is part of the College of Life Sciences. It is almost wholly accommodated within the Henry Wellcome Building and contiguous with the Leicester Institute for Structural and Chemical Biology (LISCB), with a number of MCB principal investigators also being core members of LISCB.

The Department also hosts a teaching community, including a group of teaching-focused academics, which contributes to undergraduate and post-graduate taught degree courses, particularly within the School of Biological Sciences. We also have a large, flourishing community of doctoral students conducting research towards achieving PhD degrees.

In addition to academic faculty and PhD students, the Department also provides a positive working environment for post-doctoral research associates and research support staff, bringing the total departmental head-count to >200 individuals.

The department actively strives to advance its equality, diversity and inclusion agenda and is the proud holder of an Athena SWAN silver award

A brief history of the department

Although the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology was only formed in 2015 it has a much longer history. The new department was formed from staff of the Department of Biochemistry (founded in 1961 with Prof Sir Hans Kornberg, FRS as its first head of department) together with staff of the Department of Cell Physiology & Pharmacology, which itself was formed (in 1993) from the Department of Physiology (founded in 1961 with Prof Ronald Whittam, FRS as its first head) and the Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics (founded in 1975 by Prof Sir Robert Kilpatrick, FRSE). The Department is proud to continue this 50+ year history of fundamental and translational research excellence at Leicester and to continue to make new and exciting contributions to the disciplines of Biochemistry, Physiology and Pharmacology. The inaugural head of department was Prof John Schwabe (now Director of LISCB). Since autumn 2017, Prof John Challiss has been head of department.




The Department has internationally recognised research
strength and hosts a vibrant research community.


Facilities and Services

Facilities and Services

The Department is housed within the state-of-the-art
research building, the Henry Wellcome Building which
hosts a number of excellent facilities.





LISCB Institute

LISCB Institute


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Contact Details

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology

T: +44(0)116 229 7038

Map with link to google maps geotag of Henry Wellcome

Henry Wellcome Building - University of Leicester, Lancaster Rd, LE1 7HB

Postal: Henry Wellcome Building, University of Leicester, Leicester, LE1 7RH

Directions on Arrival to The Henry Wellcome Building

Student complaints procedure


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The University of Leicester is committed to equal access to our facilities. DisabledGo has a detailed accessibility guide for the Henry Wellcome Building.