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World-leading research institute gets go-ahead

20 December 2010

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Category: Policy Issues

london–research–institute.jpgWe are pleased to report that planning permission was granted last week for a new world-leading biomedical research institute in London. The UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation - UKCMRI - is founded by the Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK and University College London. It will house 1250 scientists from 2015.

The chairman of UKCMRI, Sir David Cooksey said

'UKCMRI will harness the talent and potential of doctors, nurses, biologists, mathematicians, physicists, chemists, computer scientists and engineers to understand the underlying causes of disease. This will accelerate our ability to treat disease - bringing benefits to patients through the NHS and to the economy by developing a sector in which the UK already excels.'

UKCMRI states on its website:

Almost all UKCMRI research involving animals will use mice, rats, fish, frogs, fruit flies, or nematode worms. Where other animals are used, it is because they offer the best model for particular human diseases.

For example, current research on flu uses ferrets, because they are susceptible to the strains of flu that infect humans: it causes similar symptoms and it runs a similar course. The swine flu pandemic of 2009 caused 14,286 confirmed deaths worldwide.

All the partners are committed to the principles of 'the 3Rs' - reducing the numbers of animals used, replacing them where possible and refining experiments to reduce the numbers and involvement of animals.

The construction of UKCMRI is expected to begin in the Spring with completion in 2015.