Research centres and institutes

We want researchers to work and train in environments where world-class research and translation can thrive. So we invest in research centres and institutes to help this happen.

Why they're important

Focused, core support brings together teams who use their expertise, knowledge and skills to help us achieve our mission. 

Working to a common goal while sharing the same physical space and facilities means researchers can collaborate to tackle some of the biggest questions in science.

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton, Cambridgeshire was established in 1993 to collaborate on the Human Genome Project – the sequencing of the first human genome. We have continued to fund Sanger and it has grown into a world-leading institute in human genomics research.

Wellcome Centres

Wellcome Centres are an important part of how we advance ideas.

They give groups of world-class researchers funding for the shared facilities and collaborative and training activities they need to deliver world-leading research and high-impact translation. All Centres have a clear research goal, strong leadership and a dynamic research and cultural environment that makes them highly productive. Centres also actively engage the public with their research.

We ran an open competition for Centres in 2016. Read more about the awards we made.

How Centres are organised

Centres have a Director, who drives and oversees the research vision. 

Research groups in Centres are led by senior leaders, who hold substantial research funding and are often a Wellcome Fellow or Investigator. There are also early-career group leaders and training programmes to nurture talented junior researchers.

Current Centres

There are 15 Wellcome Centres.

Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infectives Research (University of Dundee)

The Centre is working to accelerate the discovery and investigation of new small-molecule candidates for treating neglected tropical diseases – initially focusing on visceral leishmaniasis and Chagas' disease.  

Wellcome / MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute (University of Cambridge)

The Institute investigates the mechanisms regulating stem and progenitor cells, both normal and pathological, for the prevention and treatment of disease. It is funded in partnership with the Medical Research Council (MRC).

Wellcome Centre for Cell Biology (University of Edinburgh)

The Centre aims to understand cellular epigenetic mechanisms by looking at nuclear organisation, genome packaging and transmission, chromatin states and RNA biology.

Wellcome Centre for Cell-Matrix Research (University of Manchester)

The Centre investigates the principles that govern cell and matrix interactions. This will lead to a better understanding of how organisms develop and age, and will help to identify interventions for matrix disorders, such as fibrosis.

Wellcome Centre of Cultures and Environments of Health (University of Exeter)

The Centre explores, creates and supports cultures and environments that promote health and wellbeing throughout people’s lives, drawing on expertise from the humanities, social and biomedical sciences.

Wellcome Centre for Ethics, Innovation, Globalisation and Medicine (University of Oxford)

The Centre is rethinking bioethics to recognise the importance of data, genomics, neuroscience, and global interconnectivity. This will better equip bioethics to analyse the major moral problems in 21st century bioscience and healthcare.

Wellcome / CRUK Gurdon Institute (University of Cambridge)

The Institute aims to understand the fundamental mechanisms of normal biological development, look for where these mechanisms fail in cancer and other diseases of ageing and, where possible, to develop new therapies. It is funded in partnership with Cancer Research UK (CRUK).

Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics (University of Oxford)

The Centre investigates the genetic causes and functional consequences of human disease, drawing on human and pathogen genomics and structural biology.

Wellcome Centre for Infectious Diseases Research in Africa (CIDRI-Africa) 

The Centre aims to combat infectious diseases related to poverty, with a particular focus on TB and HIV. It wants to determine the role of non-infectious diseases in infection, and overcome the challenges of large scale anti-retroviral therapy for HIV. The Centre will provide training and opportunities to African scientists and clinicians.

Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging (University of Oxford)  

The Centre is helping laboratory neuroscience to better benefit patients by making it easier to integrate neuroimaging across species and scales. It will generate new imaging markers for prediction, stratification and therapeutic monitoring, and make all data, analysis and related tools openly available.

Wellcome / EPSRC / KCL Medical Engineering Centre of Research Excellence (King’s College London)

The Centre is developing markers to allow early detection of disease so that its onset or progression can be prevented. It will focus on cardiovascular, oncological and neurological applications of medical imaging (primarily MRI and PET). It is jointly funded with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and King’s College London.

Wellcome Centre for Mitochondrial Research (Newcastle University) 

The Centre carries out basic and clinical research on genetic and cell-biological mechanisms of mitochondrial disease, phenotypes patients, and develops new approaches to prevention and treatment. 

Wellcome Centre for Molecular Parasitology (University of Glasgow)

The Centre investigates molecular processes and pathways in parasites in order to develop new approaches to treatment. It uses techniques from genomics and molecular epidemiology to study parasites and their interactions with host immune systems.

Wellcome Centre for Neuroimaging (University College London)

The Centre is using neuroimaging to identify biomarkers that can inform prognosis and treatment in a variety of psychiatric and neurological conditions. It brings together expertise in human cognition, physics, biophysical modelling, computational neuroscience and clinical neuroscience.

Wellcome Centre for Surgical and Interventional Sciences (University College London)

The Centre is advancing image-guided surgery by combining imaging, sensing and smart instruments. It helps clinicians to adopt these new technologies and methods and to interact with patients and the general public.

Major Overseas Programmes

We run five programmes as part of our work to fund and support research in Africa and Asia.

Co-funded institutes

The Francis Crick Institute 

The Francis Crick Institute is a partnership between Wellcome, the Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK, University College London, Imperial College London and King's College London. It is the largest biomedical research institute in Europe.

The Sainsbury Wellcome Centre 

The Sainsbury Wellcome Centre is funded through partnership between Wellcome and the Gatsby Foundation. The Centre focuses on furthering our understanding of neural circuits in the brain. 

The MSD-Wellcome Trust Hilleman Laboratories

The MSD-Wellcome Trust Hilleman Laboratories, funded through a partnership between Wellcome and Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp, is a not-for-profit vaccine research and development initiative based in India. Hilleman laboratories complete research into affordable vaccines to combat disease in low-income countries.