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Glasgow to become world centre for cancer research

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by Cancer Research UK | News

31 October 2003

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Glasgow is set to become a world centre of excellence for research into cancer, under pioneering plans announced by the University of Glasgow and Cancer Research UK.

In partnership, the two organisations intend to draw together many of Scotland’s finest cancer researchers in a single venue – a new multimillion pound state-of-the-art development at the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute in Glasgow.

The development will cost more than £15 million and its centrepiece is a new building housing 240 cancer researchers. It will provide world class research facilities, accelerating the process of understanding the disease, identifying new therapies and bringing them to patients.

The University of Glasgow and Cancer Research UK are jointly providing the bulk of the funds to finance the project, which they believe will transform Scotland’s research environment and bring a number of distinct benefits for the country’s cancer patients.

These include:

  • Better coordination between scientists and doctors, in finding new and improved treatments for cancer
  • Rapid development of basic science into application for the benefit of patients
  • Improved training of cancer doctors, helping them to introduce new treatments into the clinic more quickly
  • Recruitment of the highest quality research staff, including the attraction of top names from around the UK and from abroad

Researchers at the institute will tackle cancer from a range of angles, from research into the fundamental biology of cancer cells to the development of new targeted treatments. The centre will form strong links with the rejuvenated Beatson Oncology Centre, which is about to receive its own new building at Gartnavel General Hospital, intended to give people in the West of Scotland a world class centre for cancer treatment.

The University of Glasgow and Cancer Research UK will reveal details of their plans at a meeting with local residents tonight and will officially apply for planning permission next week.

Award-winning architects have designed a state-of-the-art research building with abundant natural light and communal space, providing the best possible conditions for collaborative research. The new construction will replace a number of old and dilapidated buildings at the existing Beatson site, while landscapers will provide a research park environment, enhancing the surroundings for the local community.

Professor Karen Vousden, Director of the Beatson Institute and one of Cancer Research UK’s leading scientists, says: “It’s really exciting to be part of a development which will become a world leader in the battle against cancer.

“The new centre will provide Scottish researchers with state-of-the-art research facilities. It will be a melting pot of some of the most talented scientists and doctors in the country, giving us the best possible chance of making progress against the disease.”

Professor John Coggins, Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, says: “This new facility will attract international cutting edge research to Glasgow for the benefit of the West of Scotland and the wider community. It reflects the ongoing commitment of the University to cancer research and will see Glasgow firmly positioned as a world leader in this field.”

Professor Jim Cassidy, Cancer Research UK Professor of Oncology at the Beatson Oncology Centre, says: “Not only will this development put Scottish science on the map, but it will be hugely beneficial for cancer patients. By putting some of the country’s best scientists under a single roof and forging strong links with cancer doctors, it is designed to turn high quality laboratory research into concrete clinical progress.”

Professor Alan Rodger, Director of the Beatson Oncology Centre, says: “This is an extremely important development for cancer patients in Scotland. Researchers at the centre will work hand in hand with doctors at the newly housed Beatson Oncology Centre and Cancer Research UK’s top class clinical trials unit to ensure that pioneering new treatments reach patients as quickly as possible.”