University of Dundee

Wellcome-Wolfson Award of 4.8 million for new College of Life Sciences Centre

01 Jul 2010

The College of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee has been given a grant of £4.88 million from the Wellcome-Wolfson Capital Awards initiative to help expand its life sciences base.

Over £30 million is being invested into large-scale university infrastructure projects courtesy of the Wellcome-Wolfson Capital Awards initiative.

The scheme is intended to facilitate internationally competitive, leading-edge biomedical research in a way that would not otherwise be possible. The projects that have been funded include both new buildings and refurbishment.

The award is for Professor Mike Ferguson, to establish a new Centre for Translational and Interdisciplinary Research at the College of Life Sciences.

“Our Centre for Translational and Interdisciplinary Research will do two things,” said Professor Ferguson. “It will double our capacity in drug discovery, allowing us to translate more basic biomedical research towards real patient benefit, and it will bring mathematicians, physicists and computational biologists and computational chemists into immediate contact with each other, and with our experimentalists, to bring interdisciplinary solutions to biological and medical problems.”

The Centre is expected to cost around £12.5million in total. The University is currently developing proposals to complete the funding package needed. The planned centre would sit alongside the impressive College of Life Sciences complex at Dundee, which already includes the Wellcome Trust Biocentre and the Sir James Black Centre.

The biennial Capital Awards initiative was launched in 2007 to follow the successful Joint Infrastructure and Science Research Innovation Fund partnerships. It provides funding to successful applicants for large-scale projects in partnership with the host institution.

This year, the Wellcome Trust and the Wolfson Foundation are working in partnership to fund the initiative. Together, the two charities are providing over £30 million of investment in UK research infrastructure. Under the initiative, universities from across the UK, including three in Scotland, have been awarded funding of between £3-5 million.

"World-class science needs to be supported by world-class infrastructure, which requires significant investment," says Sir Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust. "The Capital Awards partnership between the Wellcome Trust and the Wolfson Foundation will provide an important injection of cash into our universities at a time when they face uncertainty about future capital funding."

"The programme attracted a strikingly high standard of applications and we are delighted to be funding such exceptional projects," says Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation. "It is also a great pleasure to be working again with the Wellcome Trust, and the partnership is of particular importance when universities are facing challenging financial circumstances."