Staff and students based on Old Road Campus (ORC) may already have noticed that enabling works have started behind the Innovation Building and next to Boundary Brook House, to support the next development on site. This plot will be the location for our new Institute of Developmental and Regenerative Medicine (IDRM) led by Professors Georg Holländer (Paediatrics) and Paul Riley (DPAG). The Institute will bring together about 200 researchers with developmental and regenerative cardiology, neurology, and immunology expertise, in order to establish the critical mass required to deliver novel therapies for congenital and acquired heart, brain and immunological diseases.
Construction is expected to start towards the end of this calendar year once planning permission is achieved, with the aim of completing the building by late spring 2021. As with previous ORC developments there will be ongoing liaison with local building managers and staff to ensure the works minimise disruption to other buildings, and we will keep you up to date with progress on our website.
The development of the ORC over the last two decades has been a remarkable success. Just a few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the official opening of the Oxford BioEscalator on campus. More than a dozen companies, employing 55 people, have moved into the BioEscalator, and have already attracted £43.2m of investment. The addition of IDRM will take ORC one step closer to being one of the world's leading biomedical research campuses.
Many of you will recall that towards the end of 2017 the University, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Mayo Clinic entered into a new strategic partnership. The purpose of the new partnership is to drive advances in medical research and patient care. As reported at the time the partners will share space in London, where an independent business subsidiary has been formed to operate a clinic. The clinic, which formally opens in September 2019, will provide leading-edge screening and diagnostic services outside the NHS and will generate financial surpluses that will be used to help advance clinical education and NHS patient care, and to fund vital medical research.
The partners also wish to develop a number of academic collaborations and to this end I am delighted to announce that Professor Chris Pugh has agreed to take on the role of Associate Head of Division for Partnerships in Research, Innovation and Medical Education with Mayo Clinic. In this role, Chris will lead on identifying, developing and driving forward areas of academic synergy with our colleagues at the Mayo Clinic, and will be scoping various opportunities over the coming months, so please do contact him directly with any specific ideas you have for collaborations with Mayo.
I would like to take this opportunity to highlight a new and important role that has recently been announced at Parks College - an Official Fellow and Theme Lead for their Cellular Life cluster. As a member of the senior leadership team, the elected Fellow will play a key role in the college’s development and its future, and I encourage applications to this exciting role from across the Division.
Finally, as you may be aware the Division has been searching for a successor to Professor Sir Peter Ratcliffe as Nuffield Professor of Medicine. I am delighted to announce that the selection process for the chair has concluded and Professor Richard Cornall (FMedSci, FRCP) has been elected to the chair with effect 1 July 2019. Richard will also become Head of the Nuffield Department of Medicine (NDM) on the same date. I hope you will join me in congratulating Richard on his well-deserved success.
I would like to thank Professor Chris Conlon who has steered the Department so effectively over the last few years as interim Head of Department. Fortunately we are not losing Chris completely and he will continue to make an important contribution to the leadership of academic medicine in Oxford and overseas.
Professor Gavin Screaton, Head of Division
(Middle image: Left to right, Professor Matthew Wood, Baroness Nicola Blackwood, Dr Elen Wade-Martins, Professor Sir John Bell at BioEscalator launch, June 2019)