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U of Edinburgh Receives $95M for Genetics Institutes

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The University of Edinburgh said today that it has won £60million ($94.8 million) in new funding from the Medical Research Council to support its genetics and genomics research programs.

It also has received a £3.5 million award from the Wellcome Trust and Wolfson Foundation to help fund the building of a new systems medicine center.

The MRC funding will be used to fund research at Edinburgh's MRC Human Genetics Unit and the MRC Institute of Genetics and Medicine (IGMM) into a range of conditions, such as schizophrenia, cystic fibrosis, and genetic eye disorders, and to develop and test new therapies. IGMM is a partnership between the MRC, the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Molecular Medicine, and Cancer Research UK.

"The majority of the [MRC funding] will continue to fund ongoing programs in the Human Genetics Unit, IGMM and Human Genetics Unit Director Nick Hastie said in video statement today.

"However, a significant proportion – 10 to 20 percent – combined with money from the University of Edinburgh, will allow us to do exciting new science, to recruit [new scientists], to buy new microscopes for imaging of cancer cells, to build a brand new PhD program, and help us integrate with the National Health Service."

The £3.5 million in funding from the Wellcome Trust and the Wolfson Foundation, awarded under the Wellcome-Wolfson Capital Awards program, will support a new systems medicine building that will begin construction at Edinburgh's Western General Hospital in 2013.

The five-story systems medicine building will total 2,700 meters squared, and will "create a physical and intellectual bridge between centers that make up the IGMM. In addition to research spaces, the facility will include spaces for computational biology, a seminar room, offices, and an "open design" to encourage research collaborations, according to IGMM.

The remainder of the estimated £10.2 million for the systems medicine facility will be provided by the University of Edinburgh and the MRC.

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