New £23m Nottingham research facility to drive breakthroughs in serious disease

04 Apr 2018 00:00:00.000

Work is underway on a new £23m research facility at The University of Nottingham that will bring together experts in serious diseases including cancer, cardiovascular, liver, bone and respiratory conditions to encourage collaboration and drive new breakthroughs in treatment and diagnosis. 

The new Centre for Biomolecular Sciences Extension, due to open in late 2019, will house around 350 academics, researchers and PhD students across five floors of state-of-the-art laboratories and research space and bring together experts currently located at six separate University of Nottingham sites. 

Alex Norris, MP for Nottingham North will visit University Park Campus to officially launch the work on the new building at a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday 4 April at 2pm.

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Among the research groups being housed in the new facility are: 

  • The Division of Cancer and Stem Cells in the School of Medicine brings together 30 research groups led by scientists and clinicians with expertise in basic biological and translational research. This includes oncology, encompassing cell and molecular biology, immunology and clinical cancer medicine. It also includes stem cell biology that will add understanding of conditions which affect the heart, liver, lungs, gut, blood, brain and bone. Collectively, the work will advance therapeutic cell biology and lead to the development of new and safer drugs. 
  • The Nottingham Breast Cancer Research Group brings together world-leading breast cancer researchers including oncologists, surgeons, pathologists and cancer biologists with the aim of detecting the disease early, stopping it from spreading and treating it effectively. 
  • The Cancer Pathogenesis Research Group in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science aims to advance the prevention, diagnoses and treatment of cancer in people and companion animals. 
  • Researchers from the Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre are working to develop our knowledge of childhood brain tumours, pioneer new research and treatments and to raise awareness around the illness. 
  • The Division of Respiratory Medicine in the School of Medicine studies a variety of lung diseases including asthma, COPD, cystic fibrosis and pneumonia. The four research groups cover genetics, how genetically inherited diseases respond to some medications, how the diseases operate at a molecular level, translational research (including medical imaging) and clinical trials.  
  • The Division of Regenerative Medicine and Cellular Therapies in the School of Pharmacy aims to provide develop and better understand new biomaterials for use in tissue regeneration, to treat disease and improve quality of life. It has a focus on using innovation to drive discovery in diseases that are untreatable by current medicine. 

The building will also house the newly created Centre for Cancer Sciences (CCS), which will take a pioneering approach to create a new centre of excellence in the detection and treatment of cancer, while training a new generation of cancer researchers to tackle the disease head on. 

A new BSc/MSc in Cancer Sciences will be managed from the building and students in their third and fourth years will be developing research skills and working on their own research projects in the new laboratories alongside established research staff. 

David Bates, Professor of Oncology and Co-Director of Research for the School of Medicine, said: “Co-locating researchers in one purpose-built building will facilitate interactions and enable people to excel by working together and sharing expertise and ideas. This approach will foster long-term success and sustainability, and move us closer to the creation of a world-class centre of excellence.” 

Chris Denning, Professor of Stem Cell Biology and lead of Nottingham’s Research Priority Area in Regenerative Medicine & Stem Cells, said: “This is an extremely exciting opportunity and will overcome geographical boundaries to create a step-change in our ability to work together. Close collaboration is the central ethos of this co-localisation and is certainly the most effective way to get things done — by this I mean accelerate translation of basic science to new treatments for disease.” 

The building itself will be designed and constructed to BREEAM ‘Excellent’ accreditation with sustainable features including photovoltaic panels. 

Two impressive bridge links will connect the building at third-floor level to the existing adjacent Boots Science Building and Centre for Biomolecular Sciences creating a specialist Biomolecular Science hub. 

Andy Sewards, managing director for GF Tomlinson, the Midlands-based firm building the new centre, said: “We’re proud to be working with the University of Nottingham again to deliver another flagship project to improve specialist research facilities. We recently delivered the Advanced Manufacturing Building on the university’s Jubilee Campus and this development builds on our reputation for delivering high quality, sustainable buildings within the higher education sector.”  

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Notes to editors: 

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…


Story credits

More information is available from Professor David Bates in the School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 823 Chris Denning in the School of Medicine, University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 823

Emma Thorne Emma Thorne - Media Relations Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5793 Location: University Park

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