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National Institute for Medical Research to relocate to University College London

Publication date: Feb 22, 2006 4:34:53 PM

The Medical Research Council (MRC) and University College London (UCL) are pleased to announce the unanimous decision by the MRC Council that UCL is to be the preferred partner for the development of the full Science and Business Case for the renewal of the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR). The prospect of co-locating NIMR at UCL is enormously exciting and will serve as an opportunity to build on the outstanding, world-class medical research at both NIMR and UCL.

UCL, together with its associated hospital trusts, offers an environment within which fundamental biological, biomedical and clinical research are integrated, and in which translation into advances in diagnostics, therapeutics and patient care, is the driver as well as the outcome of such research. NIMR enjoys an international reputation as a centre of excellence in areas such as infection and immunity, developmental biology and neuroscience underpinned by structural and cell biology and genetics. Considerable synergies already exist between the two institutions and close physical proximity will enable extant collaborations to be expanded and new partnerships to be developed.

UCL is a multifaculty university which has, for a decade or more, been committed to developing opportunities and structures for cross-cutting interdisciplinarity. NIMR researchers will derive substantial benefits from access to relevant research facilities in, and intellectual input from, UCL's physical, mathematical, engineering, environmental and social sciences, as well as the arts, humanities and law.

In turn, UCL researchers will benefit from collaboration and interaction with the exceptional scientists and facilities of NIMR. The institute is a successful centre with a global reputation and wide collaboration. Partnership with UCL will enhance and develop relationships with other research institutions in the UK and internationally, creating an environment where collaboration is both welcomed and facilitated.

The challenges for both UCL and MRC in implementing the partnership vision cannot be underestimated. UCL is committed to developing strategies which facilitate early interactions with NIMR before relocation and which deliver, in the longer term, robust structures that ensure that this unique opportunity for UK biomedical science and the health and well-being of the nation is successful.

UCL President and Provost Malcolm Grant says: "This promises to be a fertile marriage between two powerful institutions. The NIMR will benefit from its new proximity to the many major hospitals associated with UCL, along with the enormous investments in basic science and translational medical science that UCL has made in recent years. In turn, UCL will reap the rewards of a partnership with an institution of exceptional reputation in major areas of biomedical research.

"We shall develop a new relationship with NIMR that not only builds on our existing collaborations, but also breaks new ground for both institutions. UCL will do everything in its power to ensure the relocation proceeds as smoothly and as quickly as possible to enable everyone involved to pursue their research activities with the minimum disruption."

MRC Chief Executive Colin Blakemore says: "The MRC is very pleased with this outcome. We are confident that partnership with UCL offers a very exciting future for the renewed institute, which will enable it to make an even fuller contribution to translational research in the coming decades. We are looking forward to working with UCL and NIMR staff to develop the full science and business case for relocation."

Notes for Editors

For more information or to set up an interview, please contact Jenny Gimpel at the UCL Media Relations Office on +44 (0)20 7679 9739, Out of Hours: +44 (0)7917 271364 or e-mail j.gimpel@ucl.ac.uk.

Press enquiries can also be directed to the MRC Press Office on +44 (0)20 7637 6011.