Two Cambridge institutes have been confirmed as major research centres by biomedical research charity Wellcome.
The Wellcome/CRUK Gurdon Institute and Wellcome/MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute have been named as two of 14 Wellcome Centres which aim to advance understanding of health and disease by bringing together fundamental and social sciences, clinical research and engineering.
They will be co-funded by Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and the Medical Research Council (MRC) respectively.
One of them is the Gurdon Institute, a world-leading centre for research bringing together developmental biology and cancer biology, using model systems ranging from yeast to human organoids.
Across the Institute’s 25-year history the research has led to major insights into the molecular and cellular defects that give rise to cancer and other diseases of ageing, and several findings have been translated into drug discovery through spin-out companies.
Professor Daniel St Johnston, Director of the Wellcome/CRUK Gurdon Institute, said: “We are delighted that the Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK have decided to renew the Centre funding for the Gurdon Institute, which will allow us to continue our ground-breaking research on the links between developmental biology and cancer.”
Also being supported is the Stem Cell Institute, which was established in 2012 and is a world-leading centre for stem cell research.
Stem cells give rise to the multitude of cell types that make up our bodies, and their dysfunction underlies numerous diseases including many current global health challenges. Stem cells also provide unique tools for modelling disease and for generating novel cell-based therapies.
In 2018, the researchers will come together in a new purpose-built building embedded within the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, near other research institutes and adjacent to Addenbrooke’s and Papworth hospitals.
Professor Tony Green, Director of the Wellcome/MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, said: “Stem cell research offers unrivalled opportunities for developing new approaches to the management of disease and I am delighted that both the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council will continue to support our pioneering research at this exciting time.”
Wellcome’s Director, Dr Jeremy Farrar, said: “By creating places where researchers can flourish we can catalyse world-leading research and translation, and amplify its influence and impact.
“At Wellcome we believe in long term support for discovery-driven science, and Wellcome Centres are an outstanding environment for researchers to further our understanding of fundamental biology, accelerate translation to clinical practice, and explore the social and cultural context of medicine.”