History of the Institute

The Institute of Molecular Medicine was established in the Clinical School of the University of Oxford in 1989 to foster research in the field of molecular and cell biology with direct application to the study of human disease. As the format of the Institute was a new concept that had not been attempted before, its development and progress has been of particular interest for future planning of research in this increasingly important area.

Recent advances in molecular and cell biology have enormous potential for medical research and practice. Initially they were most successfully exploited for determining the causes of genetic diseases and how to control them. However, it is now clear that recombinant DNA technology is finding applications in almost every branch of medical practice. It is revolutionising cancer research, offers new approaches to vaccines, has spawned a biotechnology industry that is already producing a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic agents and, in the longer term, promises to play a major role in clarifying the causes of some of the unsolved mysteries of modern medicine: heart disease, hypertension, major psychiatric illness, rheumatic disease and many others. It should also help us gain insights into broader aspects of human biology, including development, ageing and evolution.

The Institute provides the equipment and expertise with which to be successful in this field. The Institute has become a leader in Translational Medical Research.