The Max Perutz Fund (UK registered charity number 1129597) promotes and advances education in research in molecular biology and allied biomedical sciences at the
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB).
It provides annual student and postdoc prizes, funds several studentships and seminars, and supports the purchase of vital research equipment.
The Max Perutz Fund was set up in 1980 in honour of Max Perutz, co-founder of the LMB.
The charity incorporates several funds available to support work in the LMB. This includes donations in honour of LMB scientists Fred Sanger and César Milstein, and donations for specific purposes. The following funds are held within the Max Perutz Fund:
Max Perutz joined J. D. Bernal’s crystallographic lab at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, in 1936, as a graduate student from Vienna. From 1947, his research was funded by the MRC when they established a ‘Research Unit for the Study of the Molecular Structure of Biological Systems’ for which Max and his co-worker John Kendrew were founders. Together, they pioneered the technique of protein crystallography, leading to the elucidation of the first protein structures: myoglobin (John) and haemoglobin (Max). They were jointly awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. In the same year, the LMB opened and, as well as being founder and the first Chairman, Max continued his research on protein structures. He retired as Chairman in 1979.
This Fund is used for the annual LMB Student Prizes awarded to promising graduate students who have completed an outstanding piece of research within four years of starting their PhD studies. It is also used for other approved purposes such as attendance at major overseas scientific conferences by students and young scientists within the LMB.
César Milstein was born in Argentina in 1927. After completing PhD’s in both Buenos Aires and Cambridge, and a brief spell of research back in Argentina, he joined the LMB in 1963 and spent the rest of his life here. He developed an early interest in immunology, and at the LMB his research concentrated on antibody structure and diversity. In the early 1970s, with his post-doc Georges Köhler, they developed the technique to produce monoclonal antibodies, for which they were jointly awarded the 1984 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. This technique has been used for diagnostics and developed further by LMB colleagues for therapeutic applications, leading to the creation of several MRC spin-out companies. César continued his research on how somatic mutation arises in immunoglobulin genes. He died in Cambridge in March 2002.
This Fund is used to support a Studentship or a Fellowship to enable a young scientist from South America to undertake research at the LMB.
Geoffrey Grigg Traveling Fellowship
Geoffrey Grigg was an Australian visitor to the LMB with Fred Sanger in 1972-1974 and Greg Winter in 1988, and often visited the LMB, especially in the 1990s. He played a key role in the founding and/or financing of Cambridge Antibody Technology and Domantis, two start-up biotechnology companies based on work originating in the LMB. After his death in 2008, the LMB and the Garvan Institute in Sydney set up a traveling Fellowship to honour his memory, raising money from his friends in Cambridge and Sydney.
The aim of the Fellowship is to expedite short (one to three month) scientific exchange visits between the two institutions to promote closer links between them.
Prospective applicants from the LMB should apply to the Director of the LMB by email to email@example.com at least one month in advance of the proposed trip, and preferably longer. The application should include a brief description (one page) of the proposed project or collaboration, a breakdown of the estimated costs, and notes from their Group Leader and the Garvan host signifying approval. If the application is successful, the Max Perutz Fund will pay some or all of the estimated travel and accommodation costs from funds earmarked for this purpose. Applicants from the Garvan should apply to the Director of the Garvan Institute.
Neuberger Studentship Fund
Michael Neuberger was Deputy Director of the LMB and Head of the PNAC Division. Michael died in October 2013, after several months of serious illness. He was a truly outstanding scientist who worked out the mechanism of somatic hypermutation, which underpins the amazing diversity of antibodies the immune system can generate to combat pathogens and disease. The Max Perutz Fund has honoured his memory by establishing a named PhD studentship based at the LMB in collaboration with Trinity College, Cambridge, for training in fundamental biological and medical research.
In order to be able eventually to establish a rolling studentship in Michael’s memory, it will take substantial funds so we would be very grateful if you would consider donating to this fund.
Brenner Postdoc Prize
Sydney Brenner joined the MRC Research Unit for the Study of the Molecular Structure of Biological Systems (now the LMB) in 1956, after medical studies in South Africa and a PhD in Oxford. His move to Cambridge was partly due to the efforts of Francis Crick and once in Cambridge, Sydney and Francis shared an office and ideas for more than 20 years. They were both interested in unravelling the genetic code and this led to the discovery, largely by Sydney, of messenger RNA in 1961. Sydney then initiated the work on the nematode worm, C. elegans, to study how genes regulate organ development and how cells are programmed to die. For this work Sydney, along with Bob Horvitz and John Sulston, was awarded the 2002 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. Sydney was joint Head of the Cell Biology Division, with Francis, from 1963 and Head from 1977-1979. He was the second Director of the LMB from 1979-1986. He left the LMB in 1986 and set up the MRC Unit of Molecular Genetics, and in 1995 he founded The Molecular Sciences Institute and was appointed a Distinguished Professor in the Salk Institute, La Jolla, USA.
The annual Brenner Postdoc Prize for outstanding research was made possible by a generous donation from Royalty Pharma to support career development for exceptional postdocs.
AstraZeneca (formerly MedImmune) Lecture Series
Periodically the LMB hosts an “LMB Named Lecture”, given by eminent scientists from around the world. These LMB Named Lectures are advertised widely throughout the local area and are open to all. The Max Perutz Fund is grateful to AstraZeneca for providing funding for the lecture series. The lectures are held at the MRC’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge several times a year and are advertised on the LMB website.
This Fund is used to fund travel grants and for other approved purposes such as the purchase of vital research equipment.
Responsible investment statement
The Max Perutz Fund aims to invest its funds responsibly and ethically. Our investment manager is tasked to implement a strong ethical policy and we therefore do not knowingly invest in tobacco or armaments, for example. They are signatories to the Financial Reporting Council Stewardship Code and actively engage with the companies in which they invest to drive improvements in practice.
Alumni or others interested in making a donation to further the work of the LMB should consider doing so through the Max Perutz Fund.
There are several ways you can donate to the Max Perutz Fund:
From all countries
A cheque made payable to the “Max Perutz Fund” and sent to the Company Secretary, Josie Gowler, at the following address:
The Max Perutz Fund
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
Francis Crick Avenue
Cambridge Biomedical Campus
If you would like to donate by bank transfer please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
If you would like to pay by PayPal please click on the button below
Privacy notice: The details you enter by donating to PayPal will be shared with us and will be retained in the files of the Max Perutz Fund for a period of six years plus the current year and will not be shared with any other organisation.
Tax efficient giving
For tax-free donations, UK Taxpayers can gift aid their donation by completing the Max Perutz Fund Gift Aid Declaration Form.
Please return the form to the LMB at the address above.
For those in North America, you can donate tax-free via Cambridge in America. This is used for donations to the University of Cambridge and also for the LMB.
When sending a donation please mark it explicitly for the LMB by giving your Affiliation as ‘MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology Max Perutz Fund’ and if asked where the gift should be designated for put ‘Donation to go to the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology Max Perutz Fund, Cambridge’.
By remembering the Max Perutz Fund in your will, you will be supporting education and research in molecular biology and allied biomedical fields directly. For example, it will help us to carry on supporting outstanding scientists at the start of their careers. Other key activities that promote scientific exchange and progress such as keynote lectures and small and focussed grants that have immediate impact would also be secured into the future through this type of long-term support.
It is very simple to include a legacy to the Max Perutz Fund in your will and gifts can be made as a specified sum of money, a proportion of your residuary estate or one or more specific items of your property. A legacy gift to the Max Perutz Fund is free of inheritance tax and may help you to reduce the overall tax liability on your estate.
There is no need to rewrite your will: a legacy gift may be included either when it is first drawn up, or subsequently by simply adding a codicil, which is a separate legal document amending your will. We recommend taking professional legal advice.
If you would like to tell us about your legacy plans then please contact the Company Secretary, Josie Gowler (email@example.com or 01223 267014).
Charity key information
The Fund is an incorporated charity (Charity Commission No. 1129597, Company Registration No. 6876186).
The Director of the LMB, Jan Löwe (Structural Studies Division) is Chairman of the Trustees, and the other Directors/Trustees are currently Kevin Moreton (LMB Chief Operating Officer), Anne Bertolotti (Group Leader, Neurobiology Division), Elizabeth Miller (Group Leader, Cell Biology Division) and Leo James (Group Leader, PNAC Division).
Max Perutz Fund,
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology,
Francis Crick Avenue,
Cambridge Biomedical Campus
All proceeds from the sale of the book “Ahead of the Curve: Women Scientists at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology” written by LMB Alumna and scientific writer, Kathy Weston are being donated to the Max Perutz Fund. If you are interested in purchasing the book please visit https://aheadofthecurve.org.uk/