• World-leading Research Institute officially opens at Nottingham
  • Fiona Watts opens BDI (Credit University of Nottingham)

News & Views

World-leading Research Institute officially opens at Nottingham

Oct 14 2021

Scientists, government officials and senior leaders in research and healthcare from across the UK, were amongst over 100 guests that turned out in force to attend the official opening of the University of Nottingham’s Biodiscovery Institute (BDI) at the beginning of September. Opened by Professor Fiona Watt, Executive Chair of the Medical Research Council and the University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Shearer West, the BDI, based at Nottingham’s University Park Campus, is a world-leading hub of interdisciplinary research that will help shape the future of health and biotechnology, tackling everything from defeating cancer, to sustainable transport, regenerative medicine and the Black Death.

With brand new research equipment and laboratories on Nottingham’s University Park Campus, the Institute is home to approximately 850 talented academics, researchers, clinicians and support staff who have generated £223m in funding since 2014.

Despite a delay to the launch in 2020 due to the pandemic the BDI team have been working tirelessly in the battle against Covid-19, from donation of equipment to assisting with mass testing to the Government, while also having established a University Covid-19 testing service in the new labs, which has processed nearly 100,000 samples from 20,000 people.

Chris Denning, a Professor of Stem Cell Biology at the University and Director of the Biodiscovery Institute, said: “After an unforeseen delay, we are delighted to formally open this amazing facility. Our mission is simple yet complex; through chemical and biological discovery and engineering, we diagnose, treat and cure disease and provide security for quality of life. The work taking place within the labs here is truly world-changing and we hope that people have been able to see just a snapshot of what we can achieve.

“Some of the incredible equipment in the BDI includes super resolution microscopes. Not only do these give new understanding to tackle debilitating diseases, but also give an insight into the inner beauty of science. To celebrate the launch of the BDI, we have placed an Art in Science exhibition of large size images around Highfields Park at the University, so you can have a visual feast of science’s inner space”

Professor Dame Jessica Corner, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange at the University said: “The last year has been extremely challenging for everyone and after a long delay, we are delighted to be able to welcome people to the University to launch the Biodiscovery Institute. We are immensely proud of the facility and the research it houses, and we can now showcase this research excellence to everyone. From cancer treatment, to sustainable fuels, we hope people will get a real sense of the extraordinary team science the Institute is enabling.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Shearer West added: “The University of Nottingham has always been at the forefront of innovation in global science and healthcare, from the development of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to the discovery of ibuprofen. I have no doubt that the Biodiscovery Institute will continue this proud heritage, using the very latest equipment, technology and collaboration techniques in chemical and biological discovery to tackle disease and improve lives across the world.”

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