The MRC Epidemiology Unit was established in October 2003 by the Medical Research Council with the appointment of Professor Nick Wareham to the position of Director. The Unit originally consisted of four scientific programmes:
- diabetes and obesity aetiology
- growth and development
- physical activity epidemiology
When the MRC Epidemiology Unit was first established in 2003, the MRC decided that it should be housed within a purpose-built facility alongside other research groups specialising in metabolic disorders like obesity and type 2 diabetes. The Unit was to become part of the Institute of Metabolic Science, a purpose built centre on the Addenbrooke’s Biomedical Campus jointly run by the NHS/University/MRC, and which is now the Wellcome Trust – MRC Institute of Metabolic Science. Whilst this facility was being built, the MRC Epidemiology Unit was based within the University of Cambridge Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the Strangeways Research Laboratories and also in the Elsie Widdowson Laboratory in Fulbourn, Cambridge.
The Institute of Metabolic Science was completed in 2007 and the official opening took place in July 2008.
The Unit now has seven programmes of research, each of which has its own programme leader. As these programmes have developed, each programme leader has established a team of investigator scientists, career development fellows (CDFs or post-docs) and PhD students. Read more about how we are organised.
The department also now hosts the Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR), one of five UKCRC funded Centres of excellence in public health research, which is a partnership with the University of Cambridge, University of East Anglia and MRC units in Cambridge.