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Queen Mary’s plans pioneering ‘Med City’ science campus at Whitechapel

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 October 2013

Vision of the future... Queen Mary's new 'Med City' planned at Whitechapel

Vision of the future... Queen Mary's new 'Med City' planned at Whitechapel

QM

Details have been revealed this week of Britain’s most ambitious life science research campus on the site of the old Royal London Hospital.

"It’s a partnership with the NHS trust—they supply the patients, we supply the research"

Prof Jeremy Kilburn

A new “medical city” is on the drawing board as part of the massive Whitechapel regeneration in London’s East End.

It will bring together hundreds of top scientists and researchers from all over the country under one roof, drawing together all the medical sciences and disciplines that will delve into public health—including the quest for cures into major killers such as cancer and heart disease.

The project is a massive expansion of the London University’s Queen Mary cluster of five campuses at Whitechapel, Mile End and The City.

It makes use of a large swathe of the redundant Royal London site, occupying what was once the in-patients building and the old dental school which became available last year when the new hospital complex was opened.

Professor with a mission

Prof Jeremy Kilburn, 52, arrived at Queen Mary’s in 2010 to take up the post of Science & Engineering vice principal, after 20 years at Southampton University and previously at the University of Wales.

The Cambridge graduate is a family man with an academic wife, from Portsmouth University. The couple have two teenage sons and live by the Regent’s Canal next to Queen Mary’s Mile End campus.

“We see it as a mission of sciences for the community,” explained Professor Jeremy Kilburn, Queen Mary’s Science and Engineering vice principal.

“We don’t always get the best Cinergy in research, but now have a chance to underpin all the sciences together, to improve public healthcare for the population.

“The new campus will bring together bio engineering, maths and physics with genomic information, sequencing patients GNA and learning what’s known about the local environment and public health.”

He sees it as an opportunity for all the life sciences in a single campus—biomedical, engineering, ethics, law, economics, geography and social—to attract higher educational research as well as industry such as pharmaceutical.

Prof Jeremy Kilburn, Queen Mary’s Science and Engineering vice principalProf Jeremy Kilburn, Queen Mary’s Science and Engineering vice principal

It is “a visionary Life Sciences institute” on a 24-hour campus with education, accommodation, leisure, clinical treatments and even business start-ups—but above all, medical research.

“It’s a partnership with Bart’s NHS trust,” added Prof Kilburn. “They supply the patients, we supply the research.”

The university is set to expand by another 1,000 staff, mainly academics and researchers, with an additional 1,500 students.

Med City will be at the cutting edge of life sciences on a par with the Shoreditch Tech City on the Old Street Roundabout.


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