Scientists in Europe can now utilize a new purpose built huge building for their various studies. In fact, they started moving into the new building, called Francis Crick Institute, earlier this month. This largest research center of Europe will become home to 1,250 biomedical scientists by 2017.
The £650 million institute is likely to become a hub of medical research in the UK. It has been built with a collaboration of the Medical Research Council (MRC), Cancer Research UK, Wellcome, University College London, Imperial College London and King’s College London.
The online journal, The lancet, has released its world report today on 10th September which analyzes how the research landscape in the region will be shaped in future, following Brexit and the launch of the new Francis Crick Institute.
The Francis Crick Institute was supposed to be completed in 3 years, by 2015, but it got delayed a year. Its purpose is to become a hallmark of quality discovery, research and translational medicine which will be use clinically, creating economic opportunities for researchers.
The executives at the institute are expecting to recruit high quality researchers from National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) and London Research Institute (LRI), which in turn will synergize the efforts of best researchers of the region to produce groundbreaking results about ways of preventing, diagnosing and treating diseases.
Amongst these diseases, the focus of the researchers will be on cancer, strokes, heart diseases, infections and neurodegenerative diseases.
Another work strategy that will remain unique to this institute is the freedom that the scientists working here will enjoy. The institute’s Chief Executive and Director Sir Paul Nurse takes great pride in announcing the strategy of their working mechanism.
He said that the building has no departments which will help researchers from different disciplines to work together, collaborate and synergy.
According to him, assigning departments to researchers and scientists leads them to be confined to an area of work and puts a barrier to the way they analyze a certain problem and provide a solution.
With this strategy, the mental boundaries which hinder discoveries will be eliminated, altogether. In addition to this, the emphasis given to individual’s freedom of defining their activities will increase their productivity at work, which in turn will bring them closer to the envisioned goals of the institute.
Nurse’s comment reflected his aim for the future, “A remarkable state-of-the-art new home for the Crick has been completed and the occupation by scientists has started. But this is only the beginning. As all our research groups move in over the rest of the year, it will be the discoveries we make here that will establish our place at the forefront of science in London, the UK and worldwide.”
It is worth noting that the institute runs at the forefront of medical research of the UK which is also contributing greatly in the field of stem cell research and gene editing. Earlier this year, human embryo and stem cell scientist Dr Kathy Naikan became the first scientist globally to gain a license to use the gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 on a human embryo for research purposes.
Dr Naikan is a team leader for the project that was granted permission for this rather controversial research which would investigate the role of gene editing on human cells, for the very first time.
This team currently is investigating the early development stages of embryo and how gene editing can bring a treatment for infertility. With this step forward, the Francis Crick Institute is likely to become an emerging research institute on a global level.
The building is bustling with scientists these days who are shifting to a new workplace enthusiastically. Well equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and an array of research opportunity, the institute is equally giving importance to public engagement and school outreach program to promote science activities in the future generation.
However, the political setback from Brexit has also extended its effects to the field of science in the country. The research funding is severely impacted and with about half the scientists belonging from other European countries, the France Crick Institute will certainly feel the pressure.