About Us

Welcome to the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research (WIBR) website. The WIBR was founded in 1997 by a generous capital grant from the Wolfson Foundation, in partnership with the Wellcome Trust and HEFCE. Through a Public-Private Funding Initiative, the old University College Hospital (Cruciform Building) was refurbished and remodeled to the highest standards as attractive spacious, open-plan research laboratories. The founding Director, Prof Sir Salvador Moncada FMedSci FRS fashioned the new Institute as a centre of excellence for translational biomedical research, establishing a vibrant research environment that has won the regard of the scientific community worldwide.

In 2011-12 the Faculty structure at UCL was strategically re-aligned with identified research themes (Brain Sciences, Medical Sciences, Population Health etc.) that are better suited to the evolving funding environment. As part of this, the WIBR was incorporated into the Division of Medicine (DoM) within the Faculty of Medical Sciences (FMS). The translational power of the WIBR was enhanced and expanded by re-locating part of the Division of Infection and Immunity into adjacent space in the Cruciform Building, and establishing a new UCL Cancer Institute across the road in Huntley Street.

In 2012 I succeeded Sir Salvador as Director and I look forward to leading the WIBR into a new period of growth and investment. I aim to build on our existing strengths in fundamental and translational neuroscience to establish a more overtly "neuromedical" theme - central homeostatic control - that encompasses pain, reward and addiction, and autonomic regulation of body systems including appetite and body weight, energy metabolism and cardiovascular function. Our portfolio will also include research into basic mechanisms of brain function and dysfunction in neural pathologies such as Alzheimer's or schizophrenia, and the therapeutic potential of neural stem cells. Our aim is to complement the work of other research departments in the Division of Medicine and across UCL, including the new Sainsbury-Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour, while remaining true to the translational ethos of the WIBR.

The WIBR currently is home to a dozen independent principal investigators including three Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci), two of whom are also Fellows of the Royal Society (FRS), as well as a handful of recently-appointed young group leaders. Collectively we hold more than £20M in grants from the European Research Council, MRC, BBSRC, Wellcome Trust and many other biomedical funding agencies, charitable foundations and industrial partners. We have around 20 current PhD students and run a one-year MSc in Drug Design. Please browse the pages of our website to find out more about the breadth and strength of research within our walls and to discover exciting opportunities for training or employment.

William D Richardson FMedSci FRS
Professor of Biology and Director

August 2013