UCL unit to tackle big killers

July 4, 1997

University College London is creating a Pounds 10 million biomedical research centre to look into ways of treating and preventing heart attacks, strokes and cancer.

Funding for the centre is being provided by the Wolfson Foundation and Family Charitable Trust. Called the Wolfson Institute for Preventative Medicine, the facility will be located at the Cruciform Building, formerly the site of the University College Hospital, and will feature a new teaching centre.

The institute will employ 300 researchers under Salvador Moncado, previously director of research for the Wellcome Laboratories. UCL hopes to form partnerships with industry to generate more money for research.

Professor Moncado says the institute will be a unique experiment in the organisation and practice of research into chronic adult diseases.

"We are not just intending to study the problems, we also want to develop chemicals that can alleviate or prevent them. The institute will be placing itself at the interface between academia and industry."

Professor Moncado's team recently signed a deal with biotechnology firm Merlin Ventures to develop gene therapy treatments.

The deal involves the setting up of a company whose ownership will be shared by UCL and Merlin Ventures.

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