UCL News


New laboratories opened at Eastman Dental Institute

12 May 2006

UCL President and Provost Professor Malcolm Grant opened three refurbished laboratories at the UCL Eastman Dental Institute (EDI) on Tuesday.

The £300,000 laboratory refurbishment programme was sponsored by UCL/EDI and contributions from the Eastman Foundation For Oral Research and Training (EFFORT), The Clothworkers' Foundation and The Boissard Legacy.

The former chemistry and oral pathology laboratories now house a state-of-the-art research environment and a collaborative tissue engineering research laboratory, which means the UK's leading tissue engineering centre is now based at UCL. They are designed to meet a longstanding need within UCL and other London colleges to host collaborative interdisciplinary research into next generation composite biomaterials for use in advanced regenerative medicine.

Updating health and safety provisions and improving the air management system were major focuses of the work. Researchers now have access to cutting-edge equipment that provides them with, for example, more accurate measures of gene activity.

"The beauty of this lab is that researchers across various sites and specialisms can work on co-funded projects here. Having this space will make it much easier for us in biomaterials to work on joint projects with other units such as orthodontics, for example," explained Professor Jonathan Knowles, Head of the Biomaterials & Tissue Engineering unit at UCL EDI.

Two small laboratories were knocked together to create the new microbiology general lab, now named after Mrs Vera Helen Hague, a major benefactor. A number of novel antimicrobial strategies are being developed here to combat important human infections.

UCL President and Provost, Professor Malcolm Grant drew attention to the significance of the development as he unveiled the plaques: "We are reviewing the whole structure of biomedicine at UCL, and preparing for the co-location with us of the National Institute of Medical Research from Mill Hill. At the same time, we will continue to consolidate, refocus and - as demonstrated by these laboratories - reinvest in scientific excellence."