London 2012 legacy to include medical research centre

The anti-doping facilities serving the London 2012 Games will become a “groundbreaking” research centre into personalised medicine after the Olympics have ended, it has been announced.

August 1, 2012

The MRC-NIHR Phenome Centre will rapidly analyse large numbers of blood and urine samples to search for biomarkers linking certain subpopulations with susceptibility to specific diseases. It will be available to academics as well as to pharmaceutical companies interested in developing safer and more targeted treatments.

The centre will inherit the equipment and expertise of the London Games’ anti-doping facilities, based at GlaxoSmithKline’s research and development facility in Harlow, Essex, and operated by King’s College London.

King’s will also be one of a number of academic and commercial partners in the Phenome Centre, which will be led by Imperial College London.

The centre’s director, Jeremy Nicholson, head of the department of surgery and cancer at Imperial, said: “The possibilities offered by the centre are groundbreaking, as it will provide new ways of understanding the complex interactions between people’s genes and their environment that determine their disease risks.

“Metabolic profiling will give us a new dimension of understanding about the factors that contribute to disease, as well as crucial information for predicting how individual patients are likely to respond to treatment.”

The centre will be funded with two five-year grants of £5 million from the Medical Research Council and the National Institute for Health Research.

Sir John Savill, chief executive of the MRC, said the centre would provide a “phenomenal” Olympic legacy.

“The GSK drug-testing facility has taken one of the major challenges associated with this type of research – achieving high-throughput alongside forensic quality control – to a new level, unprecedented anywhere in the world,” he said.

The MRC is also a major funder, alongside the Wellcome Trust, of the UK Biobank, which opened earlier this year. The biobank contains biological data and samples obtained from half a million volunteers.

An MRC spokeswoman said it was hoped the Phenome Centre would carry out analyses of the biobank’s samples.

paul.jump@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

International Student Support Assistant YORK ST JOHN UNIVERSITY
Senior Lecturer: Architecture (Cultural Content) NORWICH UNIVERSITY OF THE ARTS
Head of Department of Physics ZHEJIANG UNIVERSITY
Research Assistant LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS & POLITICAL SCIENCE LSE

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

Application for graduate job
Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2016
Construction workers erecting barriers

Directly linking non-EU recruitment to award levels in teaching assessment has also been under consideration, sources suggest