Construction has begun on a new center of excellence for biomedial research in London. The new center will be called ‘The Francis Crick Institute
’. The center will be an interdisciplinary medical research facility based in London. Once complete, the institute will be, according to The Guardian
, the largest centre for research and development on biomedical sciences in Europe.
The institute is named in the honor of the British neuroscientist, biophysicist and molecular biologist Francis Crick (1916-2004). Crick was most noted for being a co-discoverer of the structure of the DNA molecule in 1953 together with James D. Watson. The center was originally to be called
the less memorable ‘UK Center for Medical Research and Innovation.’
The institute will be large in terms of staff and scale. Around 1,250 scientists from various disciplines are expected to work in the institute. This will include physicists, biologists, engineers, chemists, mathematicians and computer scientists. In terms of scale, the size
of the institute is 91,000 square meters. The design will include strict safety features as the research will include pathogens like the HIV virus.
The Francis Crick Institute will include a Living Center
. This will be a two-floor 450 square metre community space, which can be used by the local community. The Living Center will include a large space for sports and physical activity sessions, as well as two meeting/training rooms, smaller rooms for one-to-one session and health checks, a kitchen, and a bright and airy reception.
In terms of the activities, the work of the institute will focus on the causes of heart diseases, stroke, cancers, infections and neurodegenerative diseases, and develop potential treatments. Partners
in the project include King's College London and Imperial College London.
The cost of the project
is £650 million (around $1 billion) and it will cost an estimated £100 million (approximately $162 million) per year to operate. The institute is expected to be operational in 2015.