skip to content

Department of Pharmacology


The MRC National Mouse Genetics Network has received UKRI funding for research on age-related biological changes in model organisms as part of a national collaboration.

UKRI funding of £3 million is awarded today to support a new research cluster, as part of the MRC National Mouse Genetics Network (MRC NMGN), focused on improving existing models of ageing aiming to improve lifelong health and wellbeing. The cluster is co-led by Professor Walid Khaled and Dr Laura Greaves.

The new NMGN Ageing Cluster will focus on understanding age-related biological changes in the mouse, to improve our understanding and diagnosis of the most challenging diseases of our time - and generate new therapeutic avenues. MRC NMGN has previously received funding from UKRI, but this new award brings the total funding amount to £25 million. Currently, NMGN is funding projects as diverse as developing mouse models to study cholesterol in membranes, to supporting the development of a biobank for patient-derived xenografts.

The need to improve how people age has become a major requirement of modern societies. Regular increases in life expectancy result in older populations, making healthy ageing essential for a better quality of life and a reduced burden on health and social services. Understanding the biological mechanisms underlying ageing is paramount for tackling the challenges brought about by our older populations and improving the quality of life for our populations as a whole.

It is expected that the Ageing Cluster will generate new tools through the course of this research, which will be made available to the scientific community to improve understanding of the ageing process and to provide a resource for preclinical testing and intervention.

“I am very pleased to be co-leading this project from Cambridge and I am looking forward to working with the rest of the team from around the UK. "Prevention is better than cure” and our project will generate a reference map that we will use in the future to assess interventions that could prevent ageing-related health decline.” said Professor Walid Khaled.

The School of Biological Science, in recognising this need to understand how to keep our populations healthy for longer, has incorporated extending the healthy lifespan as a founding theme in our Research Theme Initiative.

You can read more about the Ageing Cluster here:

You can read more about quality-of-life research here: Cambridge research into extending the healthy lifespan.