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Crystallographer Dame Kathleen Lonsdale

Dame Kathleen Lonsdale DBE FRS (UCL Physics MSc 1924) was an Irish crystallographer and the first female tenured professor at UCL. Among her other achievements, Kathleen was one of the first women to be elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and the first female president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.
UCL Physics and Astronomy

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Untitled house by Rachel Whiteread 1993

Untitled house by Rachel Whiteread 1993

Commissioned by Artangel, sponsored by Becks. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery © The artist. Photo: Sue Ormerod.

Nobel Prize winner: Professor John O'Keefe

Professor John O’Keefe (UCL Biosciences) was awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of our ‘inner GPS’: cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain and enable us to orient ourselves.
UCL Biosciences

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Turner prize winner: Rachel Whiteread

Rachel Whiteread (UCL Slade 1987) is an English sculptor and first female winner of the Turner Prize. Rachel is one of the Young British Artists who emerged in the 1990s. House, her 1993 Turner Prize-winning work, was a cast of 193 Grove Road, a Victorian terrace house, which was due to demolition.
UCL Slade School of Fine Art

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Centre for Editing Lives and Letters (CELL)

Founded by the late Professor Lisa Jardine, the ground-breaking Centre for Editing Lives and Letters (CELL) uses new techniques to make archives matter. Concentrating on the years 1500 to 1800, the centre has helped graduate and doctoral students, researchers, teachers and writers develop methods of digitisation and interpretation that illuminate the early modern period.
CELL

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Attorney General and life peer: Baroness Scotland

Patricia Scotland, Baroness Scotland of Asthal PC QC (UCL Law 1976) is a British barrister and former Attorney General for England and Wales. Patricia is the first black woman to be appointed a Queen’s Counsel, and became a life-peer in 1997. In April 2016, Patricia took up the position of Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Nations.
UCL Laws

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Leonardo di Caprio in UCL's Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre

Leonardo di Caprio in UCL's Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre

UCL alumnus Christopher Nolan returned to UCL with Leonardo di Caprio to film a scene from 'Inception'.

Film director: Christopher Nolan

Christopher Nolan (UCL English Language and Literature 1993) is a film director, screenwriter and producer famous for films such as Inception and the Batman Dark Knight Trilogy. Christopher made films as a child before becoming President of UCL Union’s Film Society. Christopher returned to UCL in 2009, filming scenes for Inception in the Flaxman Gallery.
UCL English

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Olympic gold medallist: Christine Ohuruogu

Christine Ohuruogu MBE (UCL Linguistics 2005) is a British track and field athlete specialising in 400m. Christine is an Olympic gold medallist and double World Champion, and holds the British record in the 400m. She competed at the Rio 2016 games.
UCL Psychology and Language Sciences

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British car manufacturer: Colin Chapman

Colin Chapman (UCL Structural Engineering 1950) was a design engineer, inventor and builder who founded Lotus Cars. Using his knowledge of aeronautical engineering, Colin lead Lotus to seven Formula One Constructors’ titles in the 1960s and ‘70s. Despite Colin’s early death, Lotus is one of the few remaining successful British car manufacturers.
UCL Engineering

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Journalist Steph McGovern

Journalist Steph McGovern

Steph McGovern returned to UCL in 2013 as a guest speaker at UCL Graduation Ceremonies.

BBC correspondent: Steph McGovern

Steph McGovern, Award winning Business Correspondent, BBC Breakfast, Science Communication and Policy BSc (2005). ‘Sometimes it feels like I haven’t really left UCL. I have been back to lecture on the media and speak at events, and I have attended various reunion parties. The UCL family is one that I am proud to be part of.’
UCL Science and Technology

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Award winning architect: Farshid Moussavi

Farshid Moussavi RA RIBA (Bartlett) is an award winning British architect known for buildings such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland. Alongside her commercial work with her practice FMA, Farshid has been Professor In Practice at Harvard University Graduate School of Design since 2005.
The Bartlett

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Japanese noblemen: Choshu Five

The Choshu Five were a group of Japanese noblemen who came to UCL in 1863, when travel beyond Japan was banned, and UCL was the only English university open to international students. They played important roles in the modernisation of Japan on their return, including Kaoru Inoue, who became the first Prime Minister of Japan.
UCL Global

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Related section: Who we are

Communicating climate science

Combating climate change requires climate scientists to play a central role in informing policy and guiding public debate. To make this happen, the UCL Policy Commission on Communicating Climate Science recommends, in particular, extending scientists’ skills and establishing a professional body for climate scientists.
UCL Policy Commission on Communicating Climate Science

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HIV like malware

HIV like malware

Breakthrough UCL research likened HIV spread to persistent computer viruses.

Smoking and DNA changes

DNA damage caused by smoking can be detected in cheek swabs, a study led by UCL found. The researchers found that this damage could predict cancer risk and that it was reversed in ex-smokers who quit ten years or more before the trial.
Smoking induces early signs of cancer in cheek swabs

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HIV progression breakthrough

HIV spreads through the body via ‘hybrid spreading’, the same way some persistent computer viruses spread via the internet, researchers from UCL Infection & Immunity have discovered. The breakthrough means that in future, doctors will be able to more accurately predict a patient’s disease progression to AIDS.
HIV spreads like internet malware

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Healthy Cities Commission Report

The UCL-Lancet Healthy Cities Commission Report, and its briefings for policymakers and practitioners, made recommendations about how urban planning can reshape cities to make them healthier. Developed by 19 experts from disciplines as diverse as development planning and philosophy, the recommendations included the use of experimental projects to enhance planning, and improved dialogue between stakeholders.
UCL-Lancet Commission on Healthy Cities

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Scientific observations in space

UCL was one of the first universities in the world to be involved in making scientific observations in space. The UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory has contributed to numerous satellite missions and rocket experiments since 1966, and it continues to build equipment for future space science missions including the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope and the European Space Agency’s Mars Rover.
UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory

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Alan Turing Institute at Bletchley Park

Alan Turing Institute at Bletchley Park

UCL is one of five partner universities at this national centre for data science.

Alan Turing Institute

Vast amounts of data from sources as diverse as vehicle movements, grocery shopping and Twitter are a key driver for the economy. UCL is one of five partner universities to the new national centre for data science, the Alan Turing Institute, which will attract leaders in academia and industry from around the world.
Alan Turing Institute

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Longest running birth cohort study

UCL is home to the world’s longest running birth cohort study: the Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development follows people born in 1946. In a landmark study, Insight 46, UCL researchers are assessing 500 of the participants to gain crucial insight into how life experiences and genetics combine to determine an individual’s risk of dementia.
Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development

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Responding to touch with light

The UCL Institute of Making, a multidisciplinary research club for those interested in the made world, has joined forces with researchers from 17 different organisations for Light.Touch.Matters – a project that is developing a new generation of affordable materials that respond to touch with light. These novel materials will be applied to care and wellbeing applications.
Light.Touch.Matters.

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UCL Academy

UCL Academy

UCL is working on a major study to assess whether mindfulness training for teenagers can improve their mental health. Photo: Wellcome Trust.

Impact of slave-ownership

Our Legacies of British Slave-ownership project is tracing the impact of slave-ownership on the formation of modern Britain. The project hit the news in 2015 with its involvement with Britain’s Forgotten Slave-owners, two BBC programmes that went on to win the Royal Historical Society Public History Prize.
Legacies of British Slave-ownership

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Mindfulness at UCL Academy

Wellbeing and the practice of mindfulness are built into learning at the UCL Academy. The school is also participating in a large-scale trial to assess the benefits, whether mindfulness improves the mental resilience and concentration of pupils, and the most effective ways to teach it.
Mindfulness and wellbeing at UCL Academy

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Inspiring careers in medicine

Target Medicine is a widening participation project delivered by medical students from UCL Medical School, with support from UCL staff. The project aims to inspire students from non-selective state schools to consider a career in medicine and to mentor and support them through the process of applying to medical school.
Target Medicine

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UCLU Volunteering Services Unit

UCL values the importance of volunteering to the university, its students and to London’s communities. The UCLU Volunteering Services Unit is a dedicated facility for students who want to get involved with volunteering projects, enabling them to learn new skills, make friends and contribute to other people’s lives.
UCLU Volunteering Services Unit

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Predicting tsunamis

The risks of tsunamis are hard to predict. In response our Urban Waves project is developing Europe’s largest tsunami testing simulator. Funded by the European Research Council and led by Professor Tiziana Rossetto at UCL’s Department of Civil, Environment and Geomatic Engineering, the research is featured in the Science Museum’s three year ‘Engineer Your Future’ exhibition.
Urban Waves project

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Urban Alchemy

Urban Alchemy

This project explores the material stories and processes of urban change.

Festival of Culture

UCL’s Festival of Culture offers more than 80 free opportunities across five days to discover and be inspired by our world-leading research across the arts, humanities and social sciences.
UCL Festival of Culture

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Urban Alchemy: artist in residence

Roofing zinc becomes etching plate, slate and bricks become ink. Through the work of UCL Chemistry Leverhulme artist in residence Hilary Powell, Urban Alchemy explores the material stories and processes of urban change through salvage and chemical print experiments. The Urban Alchemy book was launched in the UCL construction workers’ canteen.
Urban Alchemy

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Neural networks

Neuroscientists can now measure and manipulate the activity of many individual neurons, but have yet to understand how neural networks function. At the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre, UCL Neuroscience has partnered with the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Charitable Foundation to meet this next great conceptual challenge.
Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour

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Connecting older people: RecommendME!

Growing social isolation among the elderly is partly caused by their idea of what they can and cannot do. RecommendME! is a digital platform that connects the elderly with personalised services, helping them to be more active and independent. It was the winner of our Grand Challenge of Human Wellbeing Ageing Research Prize Workshop.
RecommendME!

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Related section: What UCL does

ChangeMakers

ChangeMakers brings students and staff together to make changes that enhance learning at UCL. A panel of staff and students award funding for projects that investigate an educational issue and make improvements, or that pilot and evaluate a change. These schemes include UCL ChangeMakers scholars: students helping to improve assessment and feedback practices.
UCL ChangeMakers

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Student Jo-Anne Wilson

Student Jo-Anne Wilson

Community volunteering on the Lloyds Scholars Programme.

Lloyds Scholars Programme

Jo-Anne Wilson is a student on the Lloyds Scholars Programme. As part of her scholarship Jo-Anne takes part in at least 100 hours of community volunteering. Every week she visits Alzheimer’s patient Tommy in his care-home. They go for walks in the local park, have a pint in the pub or simply listen to his old records.
Lloyds Scholars Programme

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Bespoke programmes: UCL Arts & Sciences BASc

UCL’s Arts & Sciences BASc allows students to create bespoke interdisciplinary programmes focussing on the subjects that interest them most. Core courses help students make new and interesting connections between disciplines and provide them with valuable research skills. Students study a language and are given dedicated support for sourcing internships.
Arts & Sciences BASc

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Houndly app: UCL Bright Ideas

Students can make the most of the hundreds of activities happening across UCL every week thanks to Houndly, an app that won the 2015 UCL Bright Ideas Award. Like a hound, the app collates events on campus along with their time and location, making everything easy to find.
Student entrepreneurs create Houndly

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Connected Curriculum

Connected Curriculum is a unique educational model developed to break down barriers between teaching and carrying out world-class research at UCL. The approach aims to better prepare our students for the workplace by making learning practical and authentic, with tasks that closely resemble real-life problems.
Teaching & Learning: Connected Curriculum

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Team Hydrone

Team Hydrone

Team Hydrone from UCL Mechanical Engineering with their first hydrogen-powered vehicle. Photo: WIRED magazine

Hydrogen-powered vehicles

Team Hydrone – one of UCL Mechanical Engineering’s racing teams – designs, builds and races hydrogen-powered vehicles in the Shell Eco Marathon Europe competition. The team of undergraduates develops vehicles optimised for maximum fuel efficiency, capable of travelling over one hundred times further than a normal car, with the equivalent amount of fuel.
Team Hydrone Mechanical Engineering students

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bio-bean: coffee grounds and green biofuels

UCL Architecture graduate Arthur Kay founded bio-bean, which turns waste coffee grounds into green biofuels. bio-bean won the Virgin Voom 2016 Grow Award, which recognises businesses with  good growth potential, and signed an agreement with Costa Coffee to recycle over 3,000 tonnes of coffee grounds per year into low-carbon fuel. Since 2017, UCL has been working with bio-bean to turn waste coffee grounds from coffee shops across campus into fuel.
UCL start-up bio-bean

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Exploding lithium-ion batteries

UCL Chemical Engineering PhD student Donal Finegan was part of a team of researchers that investigated what happens when lithium-ion batteries overheat and explode. The UCL-led study used sophisticated 3D imaging to understand how the batteries fail, with the aim of improving their design to make them safer to use and transport.
Exploding batteries, UCL Engineering

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UCL Careers

UCL Careers helps students through all stages of job-hunting, from talking through future options, to coaching in interview, as well as CV and assessment centre techniques. The team also offers one-on-one support, in addition to a variety of events and workshops, including programmes for Master’s students, researchers, international students and recent graduates.
UCL Careers

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Double Dutch

Double Dutch

UCL alumnae and sisters Joyce and Raissa De Haas launched a successful business.

Meeting employers

UCL Careers works closely with a diverse range of employers who in 2015 contributed 10,985 hours to educating and developing the skills of UCL students. Employers meet and work with students, giving them insights into specific career sectors, and offering advice and support during careers fairs, skills development workshops and one-on-one coaching.
UCL Careers

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Double Dutch Drinks: UCL Bright Ideas

Dutch twins and UCL School of Management alumnae Joyce and Raissa De Haas launched Double Dutch Drinks, their premium drinks business, while studying at UCL. They received funding from UCL’s Bright Ideas Awards scheme, as well as expert business advice and support. In 2015 they agreed a major distribution deal with US retail giant Target.
Sir Richard Branson awards Double Dutch Drinks start-up

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Related section: Why UCL?

UCL East

UCL East, our major new campus at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, will be a home to innovative cross disciplinary research, advanced academic facilities and residential units. Welcoming students by 2019/20, UCL East will engage with local communities and business, encouraging exchanges and supporting sustainable development.
UCL East

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Quagga skeleton at the UCL Grant Museum

Quagga skeleton at the UCL Grant Museum

A lost leg of the Quagga skeleton was replaced in 2015 thanks to 3D printing technology.

London's only zoological museum

UCL’s Grant Museum of Zoology is London’s only remaining university zoological museum, housing around 68,000 specimens. In 2015, the museum used innovative 3D printing technology to replace the lost leg of its quagga skeleton, as part of the Bone Idols project. The quagga – a half-stripped zebra – became extinct in 1883.
UCL Grant Museum

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Taking on global challenges

The philosophy of global citizenship extends our responsibilities to an ever more closely connected world. Our Global Citizenship programme is open to all undergraduates. By taking on global challenges, like coming up with sustainable improvements to water infrastructure, or a way to negotiate between different groups in one city, students gain skills and prepare for careers as global citizens.
Global Citizenship programme

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UCL Academy in Camden

UCL Academy builds on our extensive engagement with state schools in Camden, and our conviction that academies will be best promoted by organisations that specialise in education. Founded in 2012, the secondary school specialises in mathematics, science and languages, with a mission to educate global citizens.
UCL Academy

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African Voices

The history and the future of Africa, problems and threats facing African people and inspiring stories that go unreported were among the subjects discussed by prominent African academics at ‘African Question Time’. The session was part of ‘African Voices’, a series of events we put on for the launch of our new African Studies Research Centre.
African Voices

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Bloomsbury Theatre

Bloomsbury Theatre

UCL's Bloomsbury Theatre hosts events including Bright Club, where researchers become comedians for the night. Photo: Steve Ullathorne.

University art museum: Turner, Rembrandt and Flaxman

The UCL Art Museum contains more than 10,000 prints, drawings, sculptures, paintings and media dating from the 1490s to the present day. The collection includes works by Turner, Rembrandt and John Flaxman, whose sculpture models marked the foundation of the museum in 1847.
UCL Art Museum

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Bloomsbury Theatre: comedy, dance and drama

The Bloomsbury Theatre opened in 1968 as UCL’s purpose-built auditorium. Since then, it has hosted professional comedy, dance and drama performances alongside UCL student productions. With the theatre due to reopen in 2018 following renovation, current students are making use of the Bloomsbury Studio – a new, flexible performance and media space.
Bloomsbury Theatre

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Egyptian and Sudanese archaeology

With an estimated 80,000 objects, UCL’s Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology houses one of the largest collections of Egyptian and Sudanese archaeology in the world. Artefacts include the world’s oldest woven garment, the oldest wills on papyrus paper and a unique bead-net dress of a dancer from around 2400 BCE.
UCL Petrie Museum

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Related section: Where is UCL?

Transcribe Bentham

Through an online ‘Transcription Desk’, UCL’s award-winning Transcribe Bentham project is engaging the public in transcribing thousands of manuscripts written by our intellectual inspiration, Jeremy Bentham. In January 2016 we hit 15,000 transcribed pages and became part of the READ project, which is developing new technologies to read and search historical documents.
Transcribe Bentham

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Expert-led short courses

Expert-led short courses

UCL runs a number of short courses, including this neuromarketing course, which uses MRI technology.

Life Learning

UCL offers an extensive portfolio of expert-led short courses, continuing professional development (CPD) and executive education. We also offer bespoke training for organisations in any sector. The Life Learning team runs an online catalogue that brings together our short courses in one place: access our wealth of knowledge and research expertise.
Life Learning

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Newsam Library and Archives

As Europe’s largest education library, the UCL Institute of Education’s Newsam Library and Archives holds an extensive collection of materials on education and social sciences, dating from 1797 to the present day. The library is open to students, staff and applications from members of the public.
Institute of Education Library

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Museums on Prescription

We are investigating how we can use museums to connect elderly people to their community. Museums on Prescription has received a £1m grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to explore ‘social prescription’: the idea that community support can improve health and wellbeing.
Museums on Prescription

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Combining neuroscience, psychology and psychiatry

The Sackler Trust has funded a new Chair in the UCL Institute of Mental Health. This newly formed institute will aim to understand the biological mechanisms of psychiatric disorders to improve prevention, intervention and treatment for mental health patients. The donation will allow UCL to combine its strengths in neuroscience, psychology and psychiatry to establish a major force in global mental health research.
Faculty of Brain Sciences

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Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe

Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe

The UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies celebrated its centenary in 2015.

Slavonic and Eastern European institution

The UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies celebrated its centenary in 2015. The School, whose inaugural lecture was delivered by the future first President of Czechoslovakia Tomáš Garrigue, is a world-leading institution specialising in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe.
UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies

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Political, ethical and intellectual issues

The UCL Institute of Advanced Studies is a research-based community that provides a cross-disciplinary space for critical thinking and engaged enquiry into the political, ethical and intellectual issues of the world today. Among the research centres housed under the institute are the Health Humanities Centre and the UCL Centre for Collective Violence and Genocide Studies.
UCL Institute of Advanced Studies

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Inflammatory and fibriotic diseases

UCL is co-ordinating a £16m project sharing clinical and academic knowledge to improve understanding of inflammatory and fibrotic diseases, unaddressed by current therapies. Combining the academic and drug development expertise of five universities and GlaxoSmithKlein, the Experimental Medicine Initiative to Explore New Therapies will produce innovative breakthroughs in patient treatment.
Inflammation, Tissue Repair, Scarring & Fibrotic Diseases (FLARRE)

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UCL Press

UCL Press

This is the UK's first fully open access university press, publishing titles including: How the world changed social media.

Francis Crick Institute

A groundbreaking biomedical discovery institute, the Francis Crick Institute is using multidisciplinary research, emerging talent, and novel ways of partnership to investigate new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases like cancer, strokes and heart disease. It is a consortium of six of the UK’s most successful scientific and academic organisations, including UCL.
Francis Crick Institute

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Open access university press

UCL Press is the UK’s first fully open access university press. Re-established at UCL in 2015, UCL Press publishes peer-reviewed scholarly monographs, edited collections, textbooks and journals by both UCL and non-UCL academics. All of its books are made available as free downloads, in affordable print and via an online browser-based platform.
UCL Press

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Lancet Countdown to 2040

Tackling climate change is one of the greatest global health opportunities of the 21st century. To map out a comprehensive international response, the Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change is becoming the Lancet Countdown to 2040, publishing annually. The Countdown is a multidisciplinary collaboration between European and Chinese academies, based at UCL.
Lancet Countdown to 2040

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Cohort studies

The Centre for Longitudinal Studies, part of the UCL Institute of Education, runs four of the UK’s cohort studies: the 1958 National Child Development Study, the 1970 British Cohort Study, the Millennium Cohort Study and Next Steps. Cohort studies follow the same group of people throughout their lives, charting social change and investigating the reasons behind it.
Centre for Longitudinal Studies

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Modern day significance of the Holocaust

Our Centre for Holocaust Education responds to classroom needs revealed by research with more than 10,000 teachers and students. Its national teacher development programme and powerful educational resources enable young people to explore challenging issues arising from a deeply traumatic past, and reflect critically on the continuing significance of the Holocaust in the modern world.
Centre for Holocaust Education

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Related section: How UCL works