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MRC Cancer Unit

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The MRC Cancer Unit is based within the Hutchison/MRC Research Centre and comprises around a hundred researchers and other staff. Members of the Unit study the control of cell growth, proliferation and genome stability, and how these processes differ in normal and cancerous cells. By understanding how and why these differences occur, the Unit aims to develop new diagnostic tools to detect cancers and new methods of treatment.

Researchers in the Unit are investigating the genes and proteins involved in a range of cancers including cervical, breast and oesophageal cancer. Recent research achievements include the identification of the presence mini-chromosome maintenance proteins as important markers in many different cancers and the development of a new diagnostic tool for detecting cancerous cells from the oesophagus.

The Director of the MRC Cancer Cell Unit is Professor Ashok Venkitaraman.

More information about the MRC Cancer Cell Unit can be found by visiting the MRC Cancer Unit website.


Former Director:

  • Ron Laskey - Control of mammalian DNA replication


To undertake world leading research into cancer cell biology that can be translated into clinical practice to improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancers.