MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit

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MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit
Biomed campus.JPG
The Wellcome Trust/MRC building, housing the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research and the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit
Abbreviation MBU
Formation 1927
Type Research institute
Legal status
Government agency
Purpose Mitochondrial research
Headquarters The Wellcome Trust/MRC building
Location Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 0XY
Professor Sir John Walker
Parent organization
Medical Research Council
Website MBU

The MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit (formerly the MRC Dunn Human Nutrition Unit) is a world-leading institution of the Medical Research Council based at the Addenbrooke’s Hospital / Cambridge Bio-Medical Campus site in Cambridge, England. The unit is a University of Cambridge partner institution concerned with the study of the mitochondrion, as this organelle has a varied and critical role in many aspects of eukaryotic metabolism and is implicated in a large number of metabolic, degenerative, and age-related human diseases.


The Unit was originally founded in 1927 using a donation from Sir William Dunn, who left £1 million to charity on his death in 1912. Part of this money was used to fund what was then called the Dunn Nutritional Laboratory, with its research supported by the MRC. The current director of the Unit is Professor Sir John Walker, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1997.[1]

The Unit has three major scientific aims:[2]

  1. To understand the fundamental processes taking place in mitochondria
  2. To understand the involvement of these processes in human diseases
  3. To exploit knowledge of these fundamental processes for the development of new therapies to treat human diseases

Research Groups[edit]

The MBU is organised into ten independent research groups[3] and includes 40-50 graduate students who are members of the University of Cambridge:

  • ATP Synthase
  • Bacterial Complex I
  • Bioinformatics
  • Mitochondrial Biogenesis
  • Mitochondrial Carriers
  • Mitochondrial Complex I
  • Mitochondrial Diseases
  • Mitochondrial Dysfunction
  • Mitochondrial Genetics
  • Proteomics

The Unit is the home of the MitoMiner mitochondrial proteomics database

See also[edit]

External links[edit]