News archive 2008
Dermatology and Molecular Medicine partnership18 Apr 2008, PR 69/08 The new Dermatology and Molecular Medicine Research Laboratories were officially opened yesterday by Mrs Kay Glendinning MBE, of the Dunhill Medical Trust. This new partnership will foster translation of genetic and biological advances into better diagnosis and treatment for serious skin diseases. The laboratories situated on the Ninth floor of Guy’s Tower on Guy’s Campus have been funded by £5.2 million from the Scientific Research Infrastructure Fund, which has provided 900 square metres of new laboratory space for the Department. They have also received an equipment grant of £175,000 from the Dunhill Medical Trust that also funded the Mary Dunhill Chair of Cutaneous Medicine, held by Professor Frank Nestlé.
The ceremony, attended yesterday by the Principal, Professor Rick Trainor, who led the opening, signifies a new chapter for St John’s Institute of Dermatology as part of the Division of Genetics and Molecular Medicine. Professor Jonathan Barker, Head of the Institute comments on this collaboration: ‘The St Johns Institute of Dermatology has always been committed to research translating genetic and biological advances into better diagnosis and treatment for patients with serious skin diseases.
‘This initiative within the Division of Genetics and Molecular Medicine marks a watershed in our ability to improve the lives of our patients through science–led medical advancement.'
Areas of research within the Institute focus on life threatening skin diseases such as skin cancer (melanoma and lymphoma) through to genetic skin disorders to disfiguring diseases such as blistering skin conditions and psoriasis.
The Division is integral to the Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), a Centre set up in 2006 by the Department of Health's National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to drive progress on innovation and translational research in biomedicine. Dermatology is one of the seven themes around which research in the BRC is organised, and Genetics is a translational discipline.
At the opening ceremony yesterday evening several of the Principal Investigators within the Institute were given the opportunity to showcase these areas of excellence.
Presentations were given by: Anthony Young, Professor of Experimental Photobiology on UVR-induced DNA damage and its role in skin cancer, Dr Sean Whittaker, Head of the Skin Lymphoma Unit on ‘Dermato-oncology: clinical and translational research progress’, and John McGrath, Professor of Molecular Dermatology on ‘Molecular mechanisms in inherited skin diseases and new benefits for patients’,
After a tour of the new laboratories Richard Trembath, Professor Medical Genetics spoke on Genetic architecture of inflammatory skin disease followed by Frank Nestlé, Mary Dunhill Chair of Cutaneous Medicine on ‘Inflammatory skin disease: from gene to function and therapy.’
Professor Barker comments: ‘These new laboratories have increased our productivity hugely, allowing us to increase recruitment to the Dermatology Institute, and enabling closer collaboration with the Molecular and Medical Genetics Division which is essential to our work . Already we have been successful in two MRC and Wellcome programme grant awards as well as project support from the EU and several medical charities’.
Professor Ellen Solomon, Head of the Division of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, says of the new partnership between The Institute of Dermatology and Medical and Molecular Genetics: ‘The synergy between our research interests has been particularly productive in the area of complex genetics disease, including psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease, genetic disease of the skin and skin malignancies.
‘Common approaches have resulted in superb new equipment and infrastructure, and we are all looking forward reaping benefits both in basic science and clinical applications in the near future.’
[Photography by David Tett: Mrs Kay Glendinning, MBE, The Principal, Professor Rick Trainor and Professor John Barker]Notes to editors King’s College London
King’s College London is one of the top 25 universities in the world (Times Higher 2007) and the fourth oldest in England. A research-led university based in the heart of London, King’s has 19,700 students from more than 140 countries, and 5,400 employees. King’s has an outstanding reputation for providing world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. The College is in the top group of UK universities for research earnings and has an annual income of approximately £400 million. An investment of £500 million has been made in the redevelopment of its estate.
King’s has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, social sciences, the health sciences, natural sciences and engineering, and has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA. It is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe and is home to five Medical Research Council Centres - more than any other university.
The Biomedical Research Centre
The Biomedical Research Centre was set up in 2006 by the Department of Health's National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to drive progress on innovation and translational research in biomedicine.
It is led by Professor Richard Trembath (Director) and Professor Graham Lord (Deputy Director). The research is organised around seven main themes: Allergy and Asthma, Transplantation, Immunity and Infection, Dermatology, Atherosclerotic disease, Oral Health and Cancer. Other key areas of research that underpin these themes are Genetics, Imaging, Paediatrics, Health Services Research, Cell & Molecular Biophysics, Developmental Neurobiology and Age-Related Diseases.
The forum, which is an integral part of the BRC, is open to everyone, although attendance is particularly encouraged from translational researchers of all disciplines, in addition to the researchers involved in the research themes of the Centre and the associated cross-cutting disciplines.Further information Kate Moore, Public Relations Officer (Health Schools)
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