Glasgow will soon become home to one of the UK's most advanced Leukaemia research facilities.
A dedicated £8million world-class Leukaemia research laboratory has been given the go-ahead as part of a joint project between NHS Greater Glasgow, the University of Glasgow and the Leukaemia Research Fund.
At present Glasgow's Leukaemia research experts are spread out across the city but the new facility means they will be brought together – concentrating some of the UK's top minds to develop novel and groundbreaking clinical trials for the benefit of patients throughout Glasgow and the rest Scotland.
Professor Tessa Holyoake, who has been leading the way in Haemato-Oncology (blood cancer) research in Glasgow has been a major force in the development of this exciting project, she said: "By bringing together Glasgow's Leukaemia experts under the same roof for the first time, the new laboratory will enable us to attract and carry out the highest calibre of international research projects and clinical trials to help in the fight against this dreadful disease."
The project is part of Medicine in Glasgow - a unique collaboration between NHS Greater Glasgow and the University of Glasgow which aims to develop and promote Glasgow as an international centre of medical excellence.
To be built on the same site as the new £100m Beatson Oncology Centre at Gartnavel, the Leukaemia Research Laboratory will provide purpose built facilities with the latest technology and equipment at the fingertips of the estimated 35 – 40 Glasgow research experts who will be based there.
Professor Holyoake said: "Being located on the same site as the new Beatson will mean that not only will the Leukaemia researchers be based together but also we will be closer to the patients. Most Leukaemia patients will receive their treatment at the Beatson and that means that we can work directly with them on new breakthrough clinical trials.
"We will also be able to benefit greatly from the excellent research infrastructure, such as equipment, staff, expertise and training, that will be available in the nearby Cancer Research UK Beatson laboratories."
Dr David Grant, Leukaemia Research Fund Scientific Director said: "Our priority is to move successful research from the bench to the bedside as quickly as we can for the benefit of patients of all ages. We are delighted to be in partnership with the University and NHS Greater Glasgow to create this wonderful new facility which is a huge boost to our £5 million investment in research in Glasgow."
There are over ten different types of Leukaemia and each one could have a dedicated team of researchers attached to it at the new laboratory.Professor Holyoake added: "We want to recruit new team leaders, with research teams of their own, to cover all aspects of the different Leukaemia's.We also hope to build up a paediatric based research group for children.
This new facility will help us to attract some of the best Leukaemia researchers in the world."
The new research laboratory is to be called the Leukaemia Research Paul O'
Paul O'Gorman was just 14 years of age when he was diagnosed with leukaemia, a cancer of the blood. In February 1987, just three months later, he died. Just before dying, Paul asked those closest to him to help other children similarly affected.
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