Cellular and Molecular Medicine

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Awards available PhD, MD, MSc by research
Programme length PhD: 3 or 4 years full-time or part-time equivalent
MD: 2 to 5 years full-time or part-time equivalent
MSc by Research: 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
Both MSc and PhD (part-time and full-time) then have one further year to write up
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes
Open to international students Yes
Start date September 2017

Programme overview

The School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine is an internationally recognised centre of excellence for the study of cancer biology, infection and immunology, and stem cell biology.

A major refurbishment of our immunology, microbiology, virology, stem cell biology and cancer research laboratories has created an outstanding working environment with state-of-the-art facilities. Researchers in the school also have access to facilities in the Molecular Recognition Centre and the Cell Imaging and Wolfson Bioimaging Facility within the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences.

Staff research interests include:

  • childhood and adult cancers
  • stem cell biology
  • molecular genetics
  • developmental biology
  • haematological disorders
  • immunology
  • arthritis
  • neurological diseases
  • virology
  • bacterial antibiotic resistance
  • bacterial pathogenesis.

The school places its focus on translational research, ie turning basic scientific discoveries into something clinically useful. Key successes of this type include the development of novel drugs and therapies, diagnostic tests and the implementation of changes to clinical practice. Several members of staff in the school are clinicians.

Fees for 2017/18

Full-time fees


Part-time fees are charged on a pro rata basis

Fees quoted are provisional, per annum and subject to annual increase.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2017/18

Details about funded places and scholarships are listed on the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences graduate school website.

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject is required for entry to the PhD programmes. Applicants who have completed their degree in certain countries will require an MSc to enable them to enter our PhD programme. We may consider MSc by research applications from candidates with a lower second-class degree (or international equivalent). Applicants for the MD should be medically qualified and should consult with the graduate director before applying.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Application method Online application form
English language requirements Profile C
Further information about English language requirements
Admissions statement Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Research groups

Research within Cellular and Molecular Medicine is focused on three strategic research themes: infection and immunity; cancer biology; and tissue engineering and stem cell therapies.

Infection and immunity

This wide-ranging research theme includes:

  • immunology, especially autoimmunity, mucosal immunity and vaccine development;
  • microbiology, especially bacterial pathogenicity and antimicrobial resistance;
  • virology, including study of important human viruses such as coronaviruses, adenoviruses and dengue viruses.

Cancer biology

Cancer is a major cause of death in the UK and the lifetime risk of developing cancer is about one in three. Over 50 per cent of cancers are preventable. The overall research aim for the groups within cancer biology is to increase our understanding of the cellular and molecular basis of cancer and to bring advances in these areas to the clinic, in terms of prevention strategies, early diagnosis and targeted novel treatments.

Tissue engineering and stem cell therapies

Research includes work with both adult and embryonic human stem cells. Investigations focus on using stem cells derived from the bone marrow of elderly osteoarthritis patients to regenerate cartilage through tissue engineering strategies in the laboratory and ultimately after implantation in the patient.


Graduates have varied careers, including academic research, contract research, working in industry, diagnostics and clinical science, secondary education, higher education, science communications, journalism and research council grant administration.

Staff profiles

Cancer Biology

Dr Keith Brown MA, MSc, PhD, (Reader in Molecular Pathology), Epigenetic regulation of cancer stem cells; genetic and epigenetic defects in childhood cancers

Dr Abdelkader Essafi BSc, PhD, (Lecturer), The molecular basis of embryonic processes in health and disease

Dr Abder Kaidi BSc, PhD, (Senior Lecturer), Genome rearrangements during neuronal cell signalling; nuclear actin polymerisation and genome organisation; nuclear topology: the relationship between nuclear morphology and nuclear bodies; the DNA damage response machinery and cellular mechanotrandusction

Dr Karim Malik BSc, PhD, (Reader in Epigenetics), Cancer epigenetics and novel epigenetic therapies; oncogenic transcription factors; signalling pathways and cancer stem cells

Professor Christos Paraskeva BSc, PhD, (Professor of Experimental Oncology, Head of School), Apoptosis and novel therapeutic; chemopreventative strategies for colorectal cancer; regulation of differentiation

Professor Stefan Roberts BSc, PhD, (Professor of Cancer Biology), Mechanisms of transcriptional regulation in mammalian cells; transcriptional control by the Wilm' s tumour suppressor WT1

Professor Ann Williams BSc, PhD, (Professor of Experimental Oncology), Colorectal tumour cell survival mechanisms and chemoprevention; signalling pathways involved in resistance to therapy; understanding the role of the tumour microenvironment on the cancer stem cell population

Professor Will Wood BSc, PhD, (Professor of Developmental Biology), Blood cell migration during inflammation and infection


Professor Adam Finn BM, BCh, MA, PhD, FRCP, FRCPCH, (Professor of Paediatrics), Clinical trials of vaccines and antimicrobial agents in children; microbial and host interactions in the human upper respiratory tract and pathogenesis of bacterial respiratory and invasive infections in children; respiratory mucosal naturally-acquired and vaccine-induced immunity to pneumococcus and other bacteria

Dr David Morgan BSc, PhD, (Reader in Immunology), Interactions between CD8+T cells and self antigens derived from peripheral tissues or tumour cells

Dr Lindsay Nicholson BSc MB BCh PhD FRCP, (Reader in Research), Organ-specific autoimmune disease affecting the nervous system (multiple sclerosis) and the retina (inflammatory eye disease).

Dr Colin Steward BM, BCh, MA, FRCP, FRCPCH, PhD, (Reader in Stem Cell Transplantation), Barth Syndrome; detection and prevention of viral infections after hemopoietic stem cell transplantation; GATA2 deficiency; identification and characterisation of new or rare genetic diseases; osteopetrosis; X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy

Professor Christoph Wuelfing BSc, PhD, (Professor of Immunology), Investigating the spatiotemporal organisation of lymphocyte signalling at the systems scale to unravel how the flow of signalling information through the complex signalling network regulates lymphocyte function.


Dr Matthew Avison BSc, PhD, (Senior Lecturer in Microbiology), Antibiotic resistance; control of gene expression in bacteria; novel antibiotics and inhibitors of resistance; two-component mediated signalling pathways

Dr Ariel Blocker BSc, PhD, (Reader in Microbiology), Structure and mechanisms of action of bacterial type III secretion systems

Dr Darryl Hill BSc, PhD, (Senior Lecturer in Microbiology), The role of bacterial proteins in adhesion to and invasion of human cells

Dr Jim Spencer BSc, PhD, (Senior Lecturer in Microbial Pathogenesis), Molecular mechanisms of antibiotic resistance beta-lactamases; novel antibiotics and antibiotic resistance inhibitors; qnr proteins; the Cfr rRNA methyltransferase

Stem Cell Biology

Dr Allison Blair BSc, PhD, (Principal Clinical Scientist), Characterising stem cell populations in acute leukaemias to facilitate novel therapeutics; haemopoietic stem cells

Dr Wa'el Kafienah BSc, PhD, (Lecturer in Stem Cell Biology), Skeletal tissue engineering; the molecular regulation of adult and embryonic stem cell differentiation

Dr Adam Perriman BSc, PhD, (Senior Research Fellow), Adult stem cell membrane re-engineering and homing; biophysics; functional bionanomaterials; protein bioconjugation; small angle scattering (SANS and SAXS)


Dr Andrew Davidson BSc, PhD, (Senior Lecturer in Virology), Development of dengue virus antivirals and vaccines; molecular biology and pathogenesis of dengue virus; proteomic analysis of the viral host interaction

Dr David Matthews BSc, MSc, PhD, (Senior Lecturer in Virology), Development of systems to combine state-of-the-art, high-throughput, quantitative proteomics and deep sequencing to study how viruses affect the host cell; pathogenesis of emerging zoonotic viruses

Dr Yohei Yamauchi MD, PhD, (Reader in Virology), Viral cell biology, virus entry, virus-host interactions; We collaborate nationally and internationally with experts in chemistry, structural biology, proteomics, physics, microfluidics, and cryo EM.; We use light and electron microscopy, cell biology, biochemistry, synthetic biology, proteomics, RNAi/drug screening to study the mechanism of how host factors regulate influenza A virus entry and infection in human cells.

How to apply
Application deadline:

We welcome applications at any time of year.

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, and the support we offer to international students.

I chose Bristol because of its outstanding academic reputation. It's reassuring to be taught by people who truly love their subject - their passion becomes contagious.


REF 2014 results

  • 31% of research is world-leading (4 star)
  • 48% of research is internationally excellent (3 star)
  • 20% of research is recognised internationally (2 star)
  • 1% of research is recognised nationally (1 star)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

Bristol Doctoral College

The Bristol Doctoral College facilitates and supports doctoral training and researcher development across the University.

Get in touch

Dr Matthew Avison Director of Postgraduate Studies Phone: +44 (0) 117 331 2036 Email: fbs-pg-admissions@bristol.ac.uk

Prof Christoph Wuelfing Postgraduate Admissions Director Phone: +44 (0) 117 331 2364 Email: fbs-pg-admissions@bristol.ac.uk

Biomedical Sciences Building
University of Bristol
University Walk
Bristol BS8 1TD http://www.bristol.ac.uk/biomedical-sciences/gradschool/


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