Infectious diseases remain the major cause of mortality and morbidity throughout the world and their occurrence represents a failure of the immune system. In spite of this, however, our very existence demonstrates that our immune system has the capability to successfully cope with these diseases.
The goal of the Department of Medicine University Research Unit (URU) is to better understand the fundamental mechanisms that govern microbial pathogenesis, how the immune system can control these infections and what happens when the immune system fails and turns against our own bodies. This requires a wide spectrum of research using complementary approaches that span all scales of biology; from atomic-level structural analysis to studies of human patient cohorts.
This spectrum covers the interface between molecular biology and clinical medicine. Embedded within the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, the URU views itself as a bridge between these two areas. The Unit’s size and distribution of interests are intended to be broad enough to bring about important and medically relevant research but small enough to be a cohesive research facility.