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Britain to build Europe’s largest bio-research centre

June 19th, 2010 SindhToday

London, June 19 (IANS) Britain plans to build Europe’s largest medical research centre where thousand of scientists can work together on different projects.

The 1.4-hectare complex worth 600 million pound will have separate research laboratories for everything from stem cells to influenza when it opens in 2015.

The UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation (UKCMRI) is being funded by a range of government and charitable organisations including the Medical Research Council (MRC), Cancer Research UK, the Wellcome Trust and University College London.

Around 1,250, including biologists, chemists, physicists, mathematicians and computer scientists, will work alongside each other at the facility, to be open behind the iconic St Pancras railway station in central London, The Guardian reported.

“UKCMRI aims to break down the traditional barriers between different research teams and different disciplines,” said Nobel laureate Paul Nurse, who chairs the scientific planning committee for the new lab.

“UKCMRI will provide the critical mass, support and unique environment to tackle difficult research questions,” Nurse said.

Focuses of research will include basic biological work such as stem cells and how organs work together. Scientists will also study the nervous system in a bid to understand conditions such as Alzheimer’s and motor neurone disease and behavioural disorders such as schizoprenia and autism.

The UKCMRI will be responsible for the scientific response to emerging infleunza pandemics, carrying out rapid genetic sequencing of viruses and helping to develop vaccines.

“Our single vision shows our joint commitment to beating the diseases that affect the lives of so many people in the UK each year,” said Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK.

“By working together, UKCMRI scientists will produce cutting-edge research and help the UK keep its place as a world leader in scientific innovation.

“Crucially, these advances will be translated into better treatments for diseases, including cancer. This collaboration will ultimately bring huge benefits for cancer patients in the future, who will be diagnosed, treated and cured using breakthroughs that will be made at UKCMRI,” he said.

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