The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by The Duke of York, have opened the £650 million Francis Crick Institute in London.
The Crick is the biggest biomedical research institute under one roof in Europe and is investigating the fundamental biology underlying human health and disease.
During a tour of the new facility, The Queen started the sequencing of institute director Sir Paul Nurse’s genome – all three billion letters in his DNA code.
The Crick is bringing scientists together from across disciplines to tackle the pressing health concerns of the 21st Century. It will be home to 1,250 scientists and a further 250 support staff at full capacity in 2017.
Its founding partners are the Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK, Wellcome, UCL (University College London), Imperial College London and King’s College London.
During their tour of the building, which is next door to St Pancras and the British Library, the royal party saw some of the facilities for research, including the advanced sequencing and peptide chemistry laboratories.
Construction of the new building for the Crick was completed in August 2016.
As a world-leading centre of biomedical research, the Crick’s aim is to find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat conditions such as cancer, heart disease and stroke, infections and neurodegenerative conditions like motor neurone disease.