Queen Mary’s launches £1m appeal to expand Whitechapel’s Centre of the Cell

Centre of the Cell

Centre of the Cell - Credit: QM

A public appeal is under way to help pay for expanding east London’s award-winning cell science education centre.

Neuron Pod artist's impression

Neuron Pod artist's impression - Credit: QM

Around 60,000 visitors have taken part in educational programmes at Queen Mary’s University of London Centre of the Cell since it opened at Whitechapel in 2009.

It is designed to inspire schoolkids to pursue a career in the sciences as well as promote public health education on issues such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, Aids and cancer.

Plans have been developed to create a second building, a ‘Neuron Pod’, resembling a giant nerve cell, next to the centre in Newark Street, off Whitechapel Road, with extra space for live science shows, workshops, debates, films and exhibitions in science and the arts.

But Queen Mary’s needs to reach its £2.3 million target and is appealing for supporters to sponsor some of the 500 branches, or ‘dendrites’, which will protrude from the Pod’s exterior to light up the building.

The college has already raised £1.4m from organisations such as the Wellcome Trust, Wolfson Foundation and Garfield Weston Foundation. Smaller sums can be donated through the ‘Just Giving’ website.