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UKCMRI Name Change to Honor DNA Royalty

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation (UKCMRI), which will be based in London, will change its name to the Francis Crick Institute, the Medical Research Council said today.

The institute, which was founded by MRC, Cancer Research UK, the Wellcome Trust, and University College London, will take on the name of the former MRC researcher who co-discovered the molecular structure of nucleic acids with James Watson.

Construction of the institute will begin in early July, and it is expected to be completed in 2015.

"Francis Crick was a superb British scientist," UKCMRI's Director and CEO Paul Nurse said in a statement.

"He embodied the qualities of collaboration, creativity and tenacity we would like to instill within the culture of the institute to be named for him. Francis Crick led a revolution in biology and medicine, was noted for his intelligence, openness to new ideas, for switching disciplines from physics to biology, and his collaborations – not least with James Watson, Maurice Wilkins and later, Sydney Brenner," Nurse added.

The name change to the Francis Crick Institute in July will bring with it a new brand, MRC said, that will be linked to the famed British biologist.

The institute will be based on the research capabilities of two of its founders, the MRC National Institute for Medical Research and the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute. Recently, two new partners, King's College London and Imperial College London, announced that they would join the new UKCMRI partnership.

In February, the UK government cleared £220 million ($354 million) for capital funding to build UKCMRI.

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