Major new research facility opened by George Osborne MP - News release
Imperial College London News Release
For immediate release
Monday 28 May 2012
A major new research facility at Imperial College London designed to expand and accelerate the translation of scientific discoveries into new ways of preventing, diagnosing and treating diseases was officially opened by George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, today.
- British Heart Foundation
- Imperial College London Healthcare NHS Trust
- Medical Research Council (MRC)
- Wellcome Trust
- National Institute for Health Research
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The £73 million Imperial Centre for Translational and Experimental Medicine (ICTEM) combines laboratory space for up to 450 scientists with a dedicated facility for evaluating and developing new medical treatments through clinical trials.
The six-storey building is located on Imperial’s Hammersmith Campus, alongside Hammersmith Hospital. It is 500 metres from the College’s new campus, Imperial West, which is being developed to grow Imperial’s research and education activities in west London.
The upper floors of the building constitute one of the largest cardiovascular research facilities in Europe, including the headquarters of the British Heart Foundation Centre of Research Excellence at Imperial. One of the areas of focus in this unit is to develop stem cell treatments to help the heart repair itself after a heart attack.
The second floor, occupied by teams from the Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre, houses next-generation gene sequencing machines, which are helping researchers to develop improved methods for preventing, diagnosing and treating common health problems such as heart disease and raised cholesterol.
The building is also home to the Imperial Cancer Research Centre, which brings together chemists, biologists and engineers who are working on new ways of tackling cancer, such as molecular imaging techniques that help doctors match treatments to patients and methods to reduce the toxicity of radiotherapy.
On the ground floor of the building the Wellcome Trust–McMichael Clinical Research Facility incorporates two wards where patients and healthy volunteers can work with researchers to evaluate new treatments.
The opening of the Centre, built over four years with support from the British Heart Foundation, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, the Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust, marks the fruition of the College’s largest ever investment in research facilities. ICTEM is a flagship facility for the Academic Health Science Centre, the College’s partnership with Imperial College Healthcare established in 2007, which aims to ensure that new discoveries and technologies are translated into new therapies as quickly as possible. Researchers in the new building will work closely with engineers and scientists across Imperial to generate innovative solutions to health problems.
Translational medicine research at Imperial is underpinned by significant funding awards from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). April 2012 marked the beginning of a new award to the NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre (£112 million) – this support will be used to facilitate the continued development of cutting-edge translational research and healthcare innovations over the course of the next five years. On 1 March 2012, it was announced that the Wellcome Trust-McMichael Clinical Research Facility has been awarded £10.9 million in funding from the NIHR (with effect from 1 September 2012) to support the translation of scientific advances into benefits for patients through purpose-built Clinical Research Facilities (CRFs).
Sir Keith O’Nions, President & Rector of Imperial College London, said: “The Imperial Centre for Translational and Experimental Medicine is a physical manifestation of our commitment to bring benefits to society through the application of knowledge. It is our Academic Health Science Centre in action. Under one roof, next to a major hospital, hundreds of scientists are dedicated to making new discoveries. Their mission is to find new ways of preventing, diagnosing and treating di seases that blight the lives of millions across the world. In doing so they will not only improve people’s health. They will also bring benefits for the economic health of the country, driving drug discovery work and interacting closely with the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. The impact of the Centre’s work will be felt by populations locally, nationally and internationally.”
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Chancellor George Osborne said: "It's an honour to open this new Imperial Centre for Translational and Experimental Medicine. It is what this country's vision for the future of life scien ces is all about. This new Centre rises to the challenge of ensuring we remain a world leader in life sciences. The future is academic research, clinical practice and industrial application coming together.
"Our future depends on the work going on at Imperial and in world class labs like this across the country. Not just the future of our scientific communities but also the important contribution that they are making to the future of this country's industry, growth and jobs."
The Chancellor also announced that this summer the government will publish a plan to support synthetic biology technology, an area in which he said Imperial is "doing crucial research where Britain has a world lead."
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Notes to editors
1. About Imperial College London
Consistently rated amongst the world's best universities, Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research that attracts 14,000 students and 6,000 staff of the highest international quality. Innovative research at the C oll ege ex plores the interface between science, medicine, enginee ring and business, delivering practical solutions that improve quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.
Since its foundation in 1907, Imperial's contributions to society have included the discovery of penicillin, the development of holography and the foundations of fibre optics. This commitment to the application of research for the benefit of all continues today, with current focuses including interdisciplinary collaborations to improve global health, tackle climate change, develop sustainable sources of energy and address security challenges.
In 2007, Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust formed the UK's first Academic Health Science Centre. This unique partnership aims to improve the quality of life of patients and populations by taking new discoveries and translating them into new therapies as quickly as possible.
2. About the British Heart Foundation
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is the nation’s heart charity, dedicated to saving lives through pioneering research, patient care, campaigning for change and by providing vital information. But we urgently need help. We rely on donations of time and money to continue our life-saving work. Because together we can beat heart disease. For more information visit bhf.org.uk/pressoffice
3. About Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust comprises Charing Cross, Hammersmith, Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea, St Mary’s and Western Eye hospitals. With more than one million patient contacts each year, it is one of the largest acute Trusts in the country and has some of the lowest mortality rates in the country according to the Dr Foster Guide – an annual, independent report published 2011. It has an annual turnover of around £900 million and is one of eleven NIHR Biomedical Research Centres. This designation is given to the most outstanding NHS and university research partnerships in the country; leaders in scientific translation and early adopters of new insights in technologies, techniques and treatments for improving health.
4. About the Medical Research Council
For almost 100 years the Medical Research Council has improved the health of people in the UK and around the world by supporting the highest quality science. The MRC invests in world-class scientists. It has produced 29 Nobel Prize winners and sustains a flourishing environment for internationally recognised research. The MRC focuses on making an impact and provides the financial muscle and scientific expertise behind medical breakthroughs, including one of the firs t antibiotics penicillin, the structure of DNA and the lethal link between smoking and cancer. Today MRC funded scientists tackle research into the major health challenges of the 21st century. www.mrc.ac.uk
5. About the Wellcome Trust
The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. We support the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. Our breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. We are independent of both political and commercial interests. www.wellcome.ac.uk
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