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The Lazarus Cell is one of the many cells operating within Cerberus. Like all Cerberus cells its members have no knowledge of their counterpart cells: a tactic that prevents captured Cerberus agents from compromising the security of other cells. The leading operative of the Lazarus Cell is Miranda Lawson, who reports to the Illusive Man.
After Commander Shepard's death, the Lazarus Cell was tasked with the recovery and reanimation of Shepard's remains in what was known as the Lazarus Project. The cell labored aboard the Lazarus Research Station for two years and successfully revived Shepard. However, in the final stages of the project Wilson, the cell's medical officer, hacked and reprogrammed the station's mechs to attack its staff. Most of the cell's personnel were killed: only Miranda Lawson, her executive officer, Jacob Taylor, and the prematurely awakened Shepard survived. The survivors fled the station, which was subsequently destroyed by remote detonation.
The surviving members of the Lazarus Cell traveled to Minuteman Station. There, the Illusive Man put Shepard in charge of the cell's activities and tasked the cell with discovering who or what caused the disappearance of tens of thousands of human colonists in the Terminus Systems. The cell's next mission was the investigation of Freedom's Progress: a human colony whose inhabitants had recently and mysteriously disappeared. The mission successfully confirmed that the Collectors were responsible for abducting colonists and the Illusive Man tasked the cell with stopping them.
After the mission to Freedom's Progress, the cell's headquarters was moved to the recently completed Normandy SR-2 and the cell was restaffed with 24 new members (according to EDI). Though under Shepard's command, Lawson retained her position as the cell's leading operative and continued sending reports to the Illusive Man. Shepard, Doctor Chakwas, Joker and the specialists that Shepard recruits for the mission are not official members of the Lazarus Cell or members of Cerberus.
The fate of the Lazarus Cell depends on the player's choices in Mass Effect 2. Endings range from the Collectors destroying most of the cell's personnel (possibly including Shepard and the entire team) to Shepard saving the lives of his or her entire crew. If Shepard survives, he or she, as the leader of the cell, may cut ties with Cerberus or remain on good terms with the Illusive Man. In all cases the Lazarus Cell accomplishes its mission to stop the Collectors.