• RFI capability a major asset to Health and Life Sciences R&D

News & Views

RFI capability a major asset to Health and Life Sciences R&D

Oct 17 2021

The Rosalind Franklin Institute, which has celebrated its official opening on the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus is set to address major health research challenges in the UK.

The £43 million new building, which will house the Franklin team and advanced imaging technologies, was funded by UK Research and Innovation’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and built by the Science and Technology Facility Council (STFC), working with Mace.

Founded by 10 UK universities in 2018 with £103 million of Government funding delivered by EPSRC, the Franklin has contributed to the national effort on COVID-19, including indicating that llama antibodies have ‘significant potential’ as a treatment for the virus.

The Institute recently installed a pioneering STEM instrument, Ruska, the first of three instruments being developed to deliver unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution imaging of cryogenically frozen biomaterials and biological samples in liquid (International Labmate Sept 2021).

EPSRC Executive Chair Professor Dame Lynn Gladden opened the building alongside delegates from across industry and academia, including Nobel Prize winner Professor Sir Richard Henderson.

Professor Dame Lynn Gladden, EPSRC Executive Chair said: “By connecting physical sciences and engineering to the life sciences, we have the ability to develop new innovations to enhance our understanding of life.

“The opening of the Rosalind Franklin Institute will help us to tackle health research challenges and enable the UK to make leaps in life sciences innovation which would otherwise be inaccessible.

Professor James Naismith, Director of the Institute said: This is a proud day for the Franklin. The work we do here will provide major factor-of-ten leaps in our ability to see and understand life. These technologies will be a huge asset for the UK, and this building is the perfect home for them.”

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