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Wellcome charity commits to five more years of support for two Cambridge research institutes

Capella (on the left) at the Biomedical Campus
Capella (on the left) at the Biomedical Campus

Researchers welcome funding which will allow ground-breaking research to contiue in Cambridgeshire.

Two Cambridge institutes have today, Wednesday December 7, been confirmed as major research centres by biomedical research charity Wellcome, receiving continued support for a further five years.

The Wellcome/CRUK Gurdon Institute and Wellcome/MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute have been named as two of 14 Wellcome Centres, all of which aim to advance our understanding of health and disease, and span fundamental and social sciences, clinical research and engineering.

The centres will be co-funded by Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and the Medical Research Council (MRC) respectively.

Wellcome’s Director, Dr Jeremy Farrar, says: “Wellcome Centres play a special role in the global research ecosystem. 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.”

Professor Daniel St Johnston, Director of the Wellcome/CRUK Gurdon Institute, says: “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.”

At Wellcome Centres, groups of world-class researchers with a joint vision come together to share facilities, collaborate, and benefit from the dynamic research, cultural and training environment.

The Gurdon Institute is a world-leading centre for research at the interface between developmental biology and cancer biology, using several model systems, from yeast to human organoids. Across the Institute’s 25-year history this 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 successfully translated into drug discovery through spinout companies.

Professor Tony Green, Director of the Wellcome/MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, says: “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.”

The Stem Cell Institute 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, its researchers will come together in a new purpose-built building in the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, close to multiple other research institutes and adjacent to Addenbrooke’s and Papworth hospitals.

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