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About SLCU

The Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University (SLCU) opened in 2011 as a research institute focused on elucidating the regulatory systems underlying plant growth and development. Supported by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, SLCU is a community of approximately 160 people and 14 research groups.

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SLCU brings together specialists in biological, physical, and mathematical sciences integrating a range of wet-lab experimental research with computational modelling. This interdisciplinary approach is essential for understanding the complex dynamic and self-organising properties of plants.

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SLCU values outreach as a chance to highlight the importance of plant science research and to discuss the work of the Lab with a wide range of people.

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Facilities & Services

SLCU provides facilities and services for advanced imaging, plant growth, tissue culture, seed storage and public software tools.

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Athena SWAN recognition

SLCU has been recognised for its ongoing commitment to gender equality by achieving a Silver Award under the Athena SWAN Charter. This award recognises the progress that SLCU has made in addressing gender equality and commitment to building an inclusive environment.

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Interested in doing a PhD at SLCU?

We have PhD students representing diverse fields, such as plant sciences, applied mathematics and biochemistry. Find out what our research group leaders are working on.

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Supported by the Gatsby Foundation

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Noisy gene atlas to help reveal how plants ‘hedge their bets’ in race for survival

Jan 24, 2019

As parents of identical twins will tell you, they are never actually identical, even though they have the same genes. This is also true in the plant world. Now, new research by Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University (SLCU) is helping to explain why ‘twin’ plants, with identical genes, grown in identical environments continue to display unique characteristics all of their own.

How trees and turnips grow fatter – researchers unlock the secrets of radial growth

Jan 09, 2019

Plant science researchers from SLCU and the University of Helsinki have identified key regulatory networks controlling how plants grow ‘outwards’, which could help us to grow trees to be more efficient carbon sinks and increase vegetable crop yields.

SLCU helps reveal another layer in the strigolactone signalling pathway

Nov 23, 2018

An interdisciplinary collaboration between structural biologists and plant scientists has revealed another layer in the signalling pathway of strigolactone – a plant hormone that plays a key role in shoot branching and other plant development processes.

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