Dundee sets sights on biomedical brain gain

January 20, 1995

Dundee University is setting up a new biomedical sciences institute which will boost the "reverse brain drain", and will be backed by Pounds 10 million from the Wellcome Trust.

The new institute, which will open in two years, has also won Pounds 2 million from Tayside Regional Council, Scottish Enterprise Tayside, Dundee District Council and the university itself.

It will house more than 200 scientists, and is bringing back two leading British scientists from overseas. Neurobiologist William Chia is coming from Singapore's institute of molecular biology as senior research fellow in cell biology, while Angus Lamond has returned from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg to take up a chair in biochemistry.

As well as providing a Pounds 10 million capital grant for the building, the Wellcome Trust has awarded major research grants totalling a further Pounds 10 million to researchers.

The honorary director of the new institute will be Philip Cohen, currently director of the Medical Research Council's protein phosphorylation unit at the university.

"It will consolidate and expand existing strengths in biochemistry, while the acquisition of advanced genetic manipulation techniques and X-ray crystallography will add powerful new research tools to our technological arsenal," Professor Cohen said.

"This substantial new initiative should enable us to achieve major new insights into the fundamental causes of disease of global importance. When recruitment to the new institute is completed, Dundee will have the highest density of biomedical and life scientists per capita of any city in Britain other than Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh."

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