Biological Sciences (Biochemistry) MPhil/PhD

Major code: BIMR/BIPR


Our goal is to understand the fundamental biochemistry and cell science that underlies normal development and that goes awry during human diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer disease, Fanconi anaemia, heart disease and ischemia.

We use technologies such as electrophysiology, biosensors, proteomics, transcriptomics, NMR, X-Ray chrystallography, enzyme assays, confocal microscopy, nanoparticles, protein structure modelling and molecullar biology.

Our research programmes, which are generously funded through grants from the BBSRC, MRC, Wellcome Trust, British Heart Foundation, North West Cancer Research, European Commission and other organisations, span disciplines from essential protein biology and glycobiology to cell signalling and gene regulation. Our investigators are involved in translational research for applications in drug discovery and tissue engineering.

Subject Overview

The key principle behind our research is the recognition over the last decade that to elucidate cell, organ or organismal function in health and disease requires an integrated approach utilising the best available cutting-edge technologies.

Notably, we have developed an unparalleled range of core facilities including:

  • The Protein Function Group, equipped with 13 mass spectrometers for quantitative proteomics and metabolomics
  • The Centre for Glycobiology, which has pioneered the development of many technologies in the field of glycomics
  • The Centre for Cell Imaging, with expertise in advanced live cell imaging using both fluorescence and luminescence-based systems. This houses the first photothermal microscope in the UK for nanoparticle-based single molecule imaging.
  • The Liverpool Enzyme Screening and Assat Facility, a collaboration  between academia and pharmaceutical companies.

We offer intense PhD training programmes with exposure to a wide range of technologies. Much research is multidisciplinary with strong collaborative links within the Institute and also to physical, chemical and clinical sciences across the Liverpool campus.

Recent research highlights from BCB students and staff over the last two years include publications in Science, Molecular Cell, Developmental Cell, Nature Protocols, EMBO Journal, Oncogene, Journal of Cell Biology and Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Many of our students are recognised for the role they play in communicating their science to the wider community. On completing their PhDs our students have taken competitive post-doctoral positions in the UK and abroad, or elect career paths in the NHS, government or the commercial sector.

Key Facts

Research partnerships
Our PhD studentships are supported by national and international collaborations, including joint PhD study programmes (e.g. with RIKEN, Japan and A*Star, Singapore).

Our partnerships with Unilever and other companies are making life better for people worldwide, as well as generating significant revenues to add to our £10m p.a. grant funding, primarily from UK research councils, charities and the European Commission.

Why Institute of Integrative Biology?

From blue sky research to global solutions

The Institute is not simply a hive of discovery. We are using our knowledge to solve pressing global issues in fields such as disease prevention, alternative fuel technologies and food security.

Making a difference

From molecule to man, individual to ecosystem, our research programmes – and scientists – are making a difference. Join us on the journey.