The University of Cambridge is to open a new stem cell institute following an £8million investment from two of the UK’s largest medical research charities.
The Wellcome Trust-Medical Research Council Cambridge Stem Cell Institute will advance understanding of stem cell biology and drive research towards clinical benefit, say its backers. The Institute will house doctors and technology specialists from all areas of stem cell research including adult and embryonic stem cells as well as iPS cells.
Professor Austin Smith, who has been appointed director of the Institute, explained how the initiative will create ‘an invigorating environment for cross-fertilisation between fundamental and translational workers’.
‘Our aim is to close the knowledge gap and drive stem cell research forward towards clinical applications. The world-class facilities will attract the best international talent from the fields of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine to pursue this goal’, he said.
Professor Sir John Savill, chief executive of the Medical Research Council, said: ‘The UK is currently one of the best places in the world to do stem cell research, and we want to make sure that continues to be the case now and for the next generation of scientists’.
‘By joining forces with the Wellcome Trust to invest strategically in all areas of stem cell science […] we will create a competitive and attractive environment for future commercial investment in regenerative medicine’, he added.
The Institute will eventually be housed in an 8,000 square metre purpose-built facility on the University of Cambridge’s Biomedical Research Campus.