Phenome-nal news about new medical research centre

01 August 2012

The pioneering new research centre set to emerge from the London 2012 anti-doping facilities could help revolutionise healthcare, according to the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Professor Jim Iley, RSC director of science and education, said today's announcement on the 'Phenome Centre', where experts will explore how different people respond to particular diseases and treatments, provides a fitting Olympic legacy and will play a vital role in developing better human healthcare.

Professor Iley added: "Chemistry is helping to improve and maintain accessible human health in a changing world and today's announcement reflects that. This is a wonderful opportunity for the UK to become the world leader in biomarkers - why an individual is more susceptible to disease than another. 

"The consequence of this investment will be real benefits for patients as new drugs and treatments are developed. This is a real boost for the analytical sciences in the UK."

A phenome describes a person's chemistry - all the molecules in their blood, urine or tissues - that are the result of their genetics and their lifestyle. The   centre will be a public-private partnership with 10m state funding from the Medical Research Council and the Department of Health's National Institute for Health Research and about 20m contributions from two scientific instrument makers: Bruker and Waters Corporation. Imperial College and King's College London are the university partners.

Alan Handley, from the RSC's analytical division, added: "I see this as a tremendous boost for analytical science in the UK and an excellent example of government, industry and academia working collectively together to make the most of this opportunity".

Professor Jeremy Nicholson, from Imperial College, said: "We are delighted to receive this major award from the MRC and NIHR to create the world's first comprehensive metabolic phenotyping centre. Generous contributions from the Waters Corporation and Bruker will also allow us to develop the next generation analytical screening technologies - which will be good news for analytical science in the UK as well as for basic medical research."

Related Links

Link icon A phenomenal legacy for 2012
The London 2012 anti-doping facilities will be developed after the Olympic and Paralympic Games into a world-class resource that could help revolutionise healthcare. The MRC-NIHR Phenome Centre will use the cutting edge facilities developed for London 2012 to help develop better and more targeted treatment for patients.

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