UCL News


Actress Anna Chancellor opens new rheumatology facilities at UCL

24 February 2009

New offices and research laboratories were opened at UCL (University College London) today by the well known British actress Anna Chancellor.

The facilities are part of the UCL Centre for Rheumatology, based in the Windeyer building on Cleveland Street in Camden. Work carried out at the Centre helps to further the understanding and treatment of debilitating autoimmune rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.

The labs and offices used by the Centre's staff have been reorganised, extended and redecorated. The refit cost in the region of £150,000, with money contributed by UCL and through fundraising carried out for the unit by organisations including the Arthritis Research Campaign (ARC) and The Rose Foundation and strongly supported by patient-generated income from a charity ball and a sponsored bike ride (from London to Paris).

Professor David Isenberg, UCL Centre for Rheumatology, said: "We're delighted to welcome Anna here today to open these new facilities. We have two main research groups - adolescent, directed by my colleague Professor Pat Woo, and adult - and the refurbishments mean that these groups can now work together more closely. The general environment is also now much more pleasant. We will continue carrying out research here to help further our understanding of this group of diseases and help improve the treatment we offer our patients."

Anna Chancellor is perhaps best known for her performance as "Duckface" in Four Weddings and a Funeral opposite Hugh Grant. She also played Caroline Bingley in the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. In 2005, she joined the cast of the popular BBC One television drama series Spooks. Her performances on the London stage in the past nine months include major roles at The National Theatre in 'Never So Good' and at the Donmar Warehouse in Strindberg's play Creditors.

The UCL Centre for Rheumatology is one of the leading academic rheumatology units in the UK. As well as seeing over 3,000 new patients and over 15,000 follow-ups annually, the Centre undertakes an enormous amount of clinical and basic research aimed at increasing understanding of the causes of musculoskeletal diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjogren's syndrome, the anti-phospholipid antibody syndrome and vasculitis, as well as finding ways to optimise the management of patients with these conditions.

The clinical work of the Centre is based in University College London Hospital, part of University College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.


Notes for Editors

1.) For further information, or to arrange an interview with Professor Isenberg, please contact Ruth Metcalfe in the UCL Media Relations Office on tel: +44 (0)20 7679 9739, mobile: +44 (0)7990 675 947, out of hours: +44 (0)7917 271 364, e-mail: r.metcalfe@ucl.ac.uk

2.) Photos of the opening are available - please contact UCL Media Relations using the above details.