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New $7.8M Building to House Research by Cardiff U's Institute of Medical Genetics

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Cardiff University in Wales today opened the £5 million ($7.8 million) Cancer Genetics Building, a research facility designed to provide expanded space for the Institute of Medical Genetics.

The new facility, based at the University Hospital of Wales, contains over 1,500 square meters (about 16,146 square feet) of floor space, including two floors of laboratory space designed for research into the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer and inherited disorders. The Cancer Genetics Building will also bring together genetic research that can identify DNA changes associated with cancer, and research into the effects of the genetic changes on proteins within cancer cells, according to the university.

Among the inherited disorders to be studied is Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, in which tumors in the brain, heart, and kidneys have led to epilepsy, autism, and severe learning disabilities.

Also in the new facility, Ray Waters, head of the Cancer Studies Interdisciplinary Research Group at Cardiff School of Medicine, will continue research into DNA damage and repair. That research has used high-resolution microarrays to analyze the entire human genome, with the goal of someday pre-screening people for responses to specific cancer therapies capable of damaging the DNA in cancer cells.

The new building's fixed louvers are color-coded to correspond to the sequence of the TSC2 gene, which was discovered by Cardiff researchers. The louvers also serve a practical purpose, namely keeping the south facing laboratories cool.

"The new facilities will help us to translate the discoveries we make in the lab and shape them into new tests and treatments in patients," Julian Sampson, head of the institute, said in a statement.

Wales First Minister Carwyn Jones led dignitaries and administrators from the institute and university in a ceremony today.

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