The future of biomedical research - the Francis Crick Institute

  • 20 July 2012
  • From the section Health
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If anyone doubted Britain's ambition to be at the vanguard of biomedical research then take a look at the huge building going up in central London behind the British Library and St Pancras station.

The Francis Crick Institute will be home to around 1,400 scientists and 120 research groups. It is a partnership between six organisations: Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, UCL (University College London), Imperial College London and King's College London.

At present it is just a building site, but the animation above (it will be there shortly!) shows what the Crick will look like when it opens in 2015.

Its director, Sir Paul Nurse said it would be "probably the largest single laboratory building in Europe, possibly the world."

The Crick will work with universities and hospitals around the UK to study everything from cancer, heart disease, stroke, infections, immune disorders and illnesses linked to ageing and obesity.

Sir Paul shared the Nobel prize for Medicine in 2001 for the discovery of molecules which control the cell cycle. He said: "We are building an institute that will carry out the highest quality biomedical research into the biology underpinning health and disease. The Crick will play a crucial national role - training excellent scientists for the rest of the country and supporting the wider biomedical research endeavour."

The Institute is named after Francis Crick, one of the co-discoverers of the structure of DNA.

Bricks and mortar don't lead to breakthroughs, but rather the people who work in them. So it will be results that count. But the creation of this massive research centre in the heart of London is a statement of intent.

Sir Paul praised the commitment of successive governments to the Crick and said it would carry out science which improved health and delivered innovations which benefited the economy.

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