Cellular and Molecular Medicine

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Run by Faculty of Life Sciences
Awards available PhD, MD, MSc by research
Programme length PhD: three or four yrs FT, or PT equivalent
MD: two to five yrs FT, or PT equivalent
MScR: one yr FT or two yrs PT

MScR and PhD (PT and FT) then have one further year to write up.

This research degree is also available via distance learning.
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes
Start date September 2019.

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 within the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences, for example the Molecular Recognition Centre and Cell Imaging, Proteomics and Wolfson Bioimaging Facility.

Staff research interests include:

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

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

We have a list of pre-defined research projects available for the MSc by Research.

Fees for 2019/20

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2019/20 are as follows:

UK/EU: full-time
UK/EU: part-time
Overseas: full-time
Channel Islands/Isle of Man: full-time

Bench fees: For postgraduate research students who are not funded by UK Research Councils or (specific) UK charities, it is usual to charge a bench fee. A bench fee covers the costs of laboratory consumables, specialist equipment and other relevant costs (e.g. training) for the duration of the programme. The bench fee charged can vary considerably depending on the nature of the programme being undertaken. Details of specific bench fee charges can be provided on request and will made clear in the offer letter sent to applicants.

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.

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 2019/20

Details about funded places and scholarships are listed on the Faculty of Life Sciences website and the School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine website.

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

Entry requirements

A first or upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in a biomedical science discipline is required for entry to the 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.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Profile C
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Admissions statement

Research groups

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

Infection and immunity

This wide-ranging research theme includes:

  • immunology, especially tumour immunology and autoimmune disease;
  • microbiology, especially bacterial pathogenicity and antimicrobial resistance;
  • virology, including the 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 cartilage regeneration 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 Abdelkader Essafi BSc, PhD, (Lecturer), The molecular basis of embryonic processes in health and disease

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

Professor Eugenia Piddini BSc, MSc, Ph.D., (Professorial Research Fellow in Cell Biology), Our aim is to understand how cells compete and to identify key health and disease contexts where cell competition plays a role; We use Drosophila and mammalian cells in culture

Professor Anne Ridley BA, PhD, FMedSci, FRS, (Professor of Cell Biology and Head of School), Cancer cell migration, invasion and metastasis; cell adhesion and the cytoskeleton; Rho GTPases; signal transduction in cancer

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


Dr Borko Amulic BSc, PhD, (Lecturer in Immunology), Host-pathogen interactions; Innate immunity; Regulation of neutrophil functions by cell cycle proteins; The DNA damage response in regulation of inflammation

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).

Professor Christoph Wuelfing BSc, PhD, (Professor of Immunology), Large-scale live cell imaging of signalling to understand T cell function; Suppression of cytolytic T cell function in the tumour microenvironment


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

Dr Ruth Massey BA, PhD, (Reader in Microbiology), Focus on Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae; Understanding how antibiotic resistance affects the virulence of pathogens; Understanding how microbial pathogens cause disease; Utilizing whole genome sequence data to understand microbial virulence; Working with Industrial partners to develop rapid microbial detection technology

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

Professor Rafael Carazo Salas PhD(Paris VII), DEA/MSc(Paris VII), CAS/MSc(Cantab), BSc(Concordia), (Professor and Chair in Biomedical Sciences), Integrative cell biology of pluripotency and differentiation

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, applying for a visa 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

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

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.

Open days and visits

Find out more about opportunities to visit Bristol.

Register to attend our postgraduate open day, 20 November 2019.

Get in touch

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

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

65 St Michael's Hill
BS2 8DZ http://www.bristol.ac.uk/life-sciences/study/postgraduate


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