Press release

Wellcome invests £118m in major research centres

Wellcome has today announced funding of £118 million to 14 major research centres over the next five years.

The Wellcome Centres all aim to advance our understanding of health and disease, and span fundamental and social sciences, clinical research and engineering.

At Wellcome Centres groups of world-class researchers with a joint vision come together to share facilities, collaborate, and benefit from the dynamic research, cultural and training environment.  This special environment allows them to deliver world-leading research and high-impact translation, as well as to actively engage the public with their research.

Thanks to the latest funding injection 14 Wellcome Centres will be supported for the next five years and will join the Wellcome Centre for Molecular Parasitology at the University of Glasgow, which was renewed in 2014. Seven  of the 14 centres are renewed existing Wellcome Centres, who have a refreshed vision and new avenues to explore, and seven are newly established Wellcome Centres. 

These include a centre at the University of Oxford focussed on enabling novel fundamental discoveries of brain function, and a centre at UCL, joint funded with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), aiming to optimise surgery through integration of new insights.  

Two of the new centres will focus on humanities and social sciences research, including a centre at the University of Exeter which will explore how we can shape cultures and environments to enable health and wellbeing. 

Renewed Wellcome Centres include the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, co-funded with the Medical Research Council (MRC), and the Gurdon Institute, co-funded with Cancer Research UK, both based at the University of Cambridge. 

Wellcome’s Director Dr Jeremy Farrar said:

"Wellcome Centres play a special role in the global research ecosystem. By creating places where researchers can flourish we can catalyse world-leading research and translation, and amplify its influence and impact.

"At Wellcome we believe in long term support for discovery-driven science, and Wellcome Centres are an outstanding environment for researchers to further our understanding of fundamental biology, accelerate translation to clinical practice, and explore the social and cultural context of medicine."

The Wellcome Centres being supported for the next five years are: 

  • Wellcome / MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute 
    University of Cambridge
    Director: Anthony Green
  • Wellcome / Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute 
    University of Cambridge
    Director: Daniel St Johnston
  • Wellcome Centre for Infectious Diseases Research in Africa (CIDRI-Africa)*
    University of Cape Town
    Director: Robert Wilkinson
  • Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infectives Research (CAIR)*
    University of Dundee
    Director: Paul Wyatt
  • Wellcome Centre for Cell Biology
    University of Edinburgh
    Director: David Tollervey
  • Wellcome Centre of Cultures and Environments of Health*
    University of Exeter
    Director: Mark Jackson
  • Wellcome / EPSRC / King’s College London Medical Engineering Centre of Research Excellence*
    King’s College London
    Director: Reza Razavi
  • Wellcome Centre for Cell-Matrix Research
    University of Manchester
    Director: Karl Kadler
  • Wellcome Centre for Mitochondrial Research
    Newcastle University
    Director: Doug Turnbull
  • Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics
    University of Oxford
    Director: Peter Donnelly
  • Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging*
    University of Oxford
    Director: Heidi Johansen-Berg 
  • Wellcome Centre for Ethics, Innovation, Globalisation and Medicine*
    University of Oxford
    Director: Michael Parker
  • Wellcome Centre for Neuroimaging
    University College London
    Director: Catherine Price
  • Wellcome / EPSRC Centre for Surgical and Interventional Sciences* 
    University College London
    Director: Sebastien Ourselin

*Newly established centres 

For more information about the centres visit