UCL News


Three UCL health research centres of excellence announced

12 December 2006

UCL is to be academic partner in one of five new Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centres (CBRCs) and two of six new Specialist Biomedical Research Centres (SBRCs) announced by the Department of Health.

UCLH and UCL Slade

UCL's CBRC is in partnership with UCLH. The award recognises the outstanding track record of medical research leading to patient benefit at UCLH and UCL. It will enable them to build on this record to make an even greater contribution to medical research in the UK and internationally.

UCL President and Provost Professor Malcolm Grant said: "We are delighted with the successful outcome of our joint bids with UCLH, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Moorfields. This builds on our previous research successes and close relationship with UCLH. It places us at the forefront of an innovative health-research system which will see the NHS and our research teams conducting world-class research which is truly focused on the needs of patients."

The CBRC brings together 16 major research themes in areas ranging from cancer, cardiovascular disease, women's health, neurological disease, oral health and gastrointestinal disorders to infectious disease, long-term conditions, and cellular and gene therapy.

Each of the themes is based around an existing internationally recognised research programme designed to take the advances achieved by basic laboratory science through to clinical advances which save lives, prevent suffering and improve quality of life. Underlying all of the themes is an educational programme designed to train the next generation of outstanding healthcare researchers.

A key feature of the CBRC is the collaborative environment on the Bloomsbury campus in central London, which brings together the work of hundreds of scientists, doctors, nurses and allied health professionals. The campus incorporates the state-of-the-art new UCLH hospital and numerous specialist Institutes of biomedical research at UCL, providing outstanding research infrastructure and technology.

The award was welcomed by Professor Ian Jacobs, Director of R&D (UCLH) and Vice-Dean of UCL Biomedicine, who will direct the new CBRC: "This is exciting award which is a key step in the shared vision of UCLH and UCL to establish in central London the leading European biomedical centre."

SBRCs will work in a specific research area. The UCL Institute of Child Health will work with its associated teaching hospital, the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, on: the molecular basis of childhood diseases; gene, stem and cellular therapies; and novel therapies for childhood diseases.

The UCL Institute of Ophthalmology will work with its associated teaching hospital, Moorfields Eye Hospital, on: age-related macular degeneration; diabetes; glaucoma; ocular-surface disease; paediatric ophthalmology and inherited eye disease.

Funding will start in April 2007, operating on a five-year cycle.

Image: UCLH seen from the UCL Front Quad