London 2012 to leave phenomenal legacy
The London 2012 anti-doping facility in Harlow will be developed into a world-class phenome research centre following the Games.
According to the Medical Research Council (MRC), the MRC-NIHR Phenome Centre will enable the UK to make its world-class phenotyping technology and expertise available to both researchers and the life sciences industry.
Researchers at the Centre will investigate the phenome patterns of patients and volunteers by analysing samples - usually blood or urine - very rapidly and on an unprecedented scale.
One of the major challenges associated with this type of research is achieving high-throughput alongside forensic quality control
This will help them to discover new biomarkers to explain why one individual or population may be more susceptible to a disease than another.
The new Centre will be led by a collaboration of academic partners, led by Imperial College London, and the suppliers of nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry equipment, Bruker and Waters.
Professor Sir John Savill, Chief Executive of the MRC, said: “The UK has an extremely strong life sciences capability and world-class expertise in this area of research. The GSK drug-testing facility at Harlow has taken one of the major challenges associated with this type of research - achieving high-throughput alongside forensic quality control - to a new level, unprecedented anywhere in the world.
“Rather than losing this investment once the Games are over, the collaboration will provide a unique resource that will ultimately result in benefits for patients. This is a phenomenal legacy from the Games.”
The initiative will be funded over five years by an investment of £5 million each from the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Department of Health’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and will build on and develop the state-of-the-art equipment and expertise of the London 2012 anti-doping facilities provided by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and operated by King’s College London.