£25.7m to create research complex at University of Edinburgh

University_of_Edinburgh_logo.svgThe University of Edinburgh is to create a new biology complex with world-leading laboratory space for 350 researchers and to establish a new Centre for Tissue Repair, thanks to a £25.7 million investment by the UK government.

The two projects are the only Scottish bids to secure funding in a fiercely competitive round of awards from the UK Research Partnership Infrastructure Fund.

More than £50m has been leveraged from industry, charity and philanthropic funds to double-match the investment.

An investment of £15m will help to create a research complex that integrates three research areas with an advanced technology hub to transform how biology is investigated. A key part of its focus will be infection and global health.

Another vital component will be synthetic biology, which creates artificial biological systems that can be used by industry and in medical research. They could also aid the discovery of new drugs.

Scientists will also focus on epigenetics - studying how genes can be modified without a change to the DNA sequence.

The new biology complex will include facilities for community engagement.

A second investment of £10.7m will enable the creation of a Centre for Tissue Repair, bringing together experts in inflammation and scarring, and tissue regeneration.

Researchers hope to discover and deliver new treatments for tissue damage, such as the destruction of nerve cells in multiple sclerosis or damage to the liver caused by infections.

The Centre will provide a platform to investigate the mechanisms underlying tissue injury.

Advanced imaging and sensing technologies will be developed that will enable researchers to view and measure tissue regeneration in real time.

Such techniques will be critical for helping researchers to evaluate the effectiveness of new treatments in clinical trials.

Professor Jonathan Seckl, vice-principal planning, resources and research policy, said: “This investment will be a major catalyst for our goal of creating a powerhouse of research and intellectual discovery that will ultimately generate health, social and economic benefits for Scotland and the UK.”

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