David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science, voiced his support for UKCMRI at the summer reception of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Medical Research.
Executive members of the UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation (UKCMRI) joined other leading figures from the medical research community and parliamentarians at the event in July hosted by the Association of Medical Research Charities.
Dr Jim Smith, Director of the National Institute for Medical Research, and Dr Richard Treisman, Director of the London Research Institute, presented the latest design proposals for the new institute to be located in Camden amid a cluster of existing research and medical institutions.
UKCMRI will be established as an independent charity with the aim of understanding the basic biology underlying human health. Effective collaboration with clinical centres and the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors will speed up the process of turning discoveries made in the laboratory into effective treatments for the most significant diseases affecting people today.
In remarks to the reception, David Willetts said the government remained committed to the project and he welcomed Sir Paul Nurse's appointment as the first Director and CEO of the new institute.
Founded by four of the world's most influential and respected scientific organisations - the Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK, the Wellcome Trust and UCL (University College London), the new institute will be at the heart of medical research in the UK, both physically and conceptually.
Its work will be based on the world-class research currently being carried out at the Medical Research Council's National Institute for Medical Research, Cancer Research UK's London Research Institute and in UCL's laboratories.)
The new institute's close proximity to a cluster of medical and research institutions in London will aid its collaborative approach to the increasingly specialised strands of medical research.