Black and white photo of people standing on the steps of a building in 1909

Pathway to Discovery


Behind the walls of the Francis Crick Institute, scientists are exploring life-changing questions about the biology of human health and disease.

Though the Crick only opened in 2016, our history stretches back over a hundred years. We are formed from two world-renowned scientific laboratories, the MRC National Institute for Medical Research and the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute (previously known as the Imperial Cancer Research Fund).

Scientists from our founding institutes were driven by a desire to understand how our bodies work, and what we can do to prevent and treat disease.

From mountaineering to major discoveries in cancer and infectious disease, their determination and curiosity changed the world (and won six Nobel Prizes in the process). 

The 2,000 staff in this building are just as curious and determined as our scientific ancestors, and we’re exploring new questions every day.

Just imagine what we might discover next.

Now open

Signs outside the Crick showing an installation on Dangoor Walk.
  • Current exhibition
  • Entry type

    Visit any time - just turn up!

  • Location

    Dangoor Walk, alongside the Crick between Midland Road and Ossulston Street

Discover more

Explore our history and our current work in the stories below.

Image credit

What does this image show?
This background image from 1909 includes Ernest Bashford (centre front, in the long coat), the first director of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, who was responsible for a significant breakthrough in our understanding of cancer.


Curator: Anna Faherty; Design: HATO; Illustrations: Lauren Doughty

The Francis Crick Institute would like to acknowledge the contribution made by the many individuals who have dedicated their time and expertise to this exhibition.
In addition to the Crick researchers featured, we would like to thank the following individuals: Jamie Barrett-Rodger, James Fawsitt, Guy Hallifax, Julie Harris, Tim Hemsley, Jane Hughes, Louisa Hutchinson, Frank Norman, Richard Treisman, Victor Tybulewicz, Darren Warrington, Kathy Weston, and Katalin Wilkinson.