The Hutchison/MRC Research Centre has now completed two years of research, building bridges from the cell biology and genetics of cancer towards the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer in the clinic. Our aim is to exploit recent advances in the understanding of cancer for the benefit of the cancer patient.
Research started in July 2001 and the building was officially opened by Sir Ka-shing Li, Chairman of Hutchison Whampoa Ltd, in May 2002 in the presence of Lord Sainsbury, Minister for Science and Innovation, Sir George Radda, Chief Executive Officer of the Medical Research Council and Sir Alec Broers, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge. This was followed by a stimulating Inaugural Symposium in October 2002.
The building houses two equal components, the MRC Cancer Cell Unit and programmes of the University of Cambridge Cancer Research UK Department of Oncology. Research in the Centre is funded largely by the Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK and the University of Cambridge. The building is designed, equipped and administered in ways that promote interaction at all levels, including those between research groups, between members of the Department of Oncology and the MRC Unit, between clinical and basic science researchers, between the funding bodies and between all levels of staff and students.
The location of the Hutchison/MRC Research Centre on the Addenbrooke’s Hospital campus also offers excellent opportunities for interaction with the Hospital and the Clinical School of the University of Cambridge.
The Hutchison/MRC Research Centre is part of a rapidly increasing emphasis on cancer research in and around the Addenbrooke’s Hospital site. Two new buildings have been completed at nearby Strangeways Research Laboratory, which is focused on the genetic epidemiology of cancer. More recently, the opening of the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute represents a outstanding opportunity for interaction towards the common goals of advancing fundamental laboratory research and its clinical application.
The challenge facing us all is to ensure that we harness this investment and the excitement it creates for the greatest benefit of cancer patients.