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Gavin ScreatonLast week, we received the terrific news that the Institute of Developmental and Regenerative Medicine (IDRM) had its planning application approved by Oxford City Council. The idea for the IDRM has been a long time in the making, so we are pleased to reach this significant milestone, and I’m very grateful to Professors Georg Holländer, Paul Riley and Matthew Wood for their vision and perseverance up to this point. Research at the IDRM aims to find ways of using the body’s own genetic and epigenetic blueprint to repair cells and tissues and ultimately design novel therapies. By attracting the best collaboratively motivated, open minded, agile researchers, the IDRM hopes to develop ground-breaking, innovative new ways of working and thinking about biology and medicine. The IDRM will sit on the plot behind the Innovation Building on Old Road Campus, and as always updates about how the building works may affect local users will be posted on our website. All things going well the IDRM should open in the summer of 2021.

This week I’m travelling to Thailand to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU), a research collaboration between the University, Mahidol University in Bangkok and the Wellcome Trust. MORU was set up in 1979by David and Mary Warrell with the support of Professor Sir David Weatherall and is a key part of Oxford’s large and extensive global health network, which extends throughout Asia and Africa. Research at MORU has been pivotal to our understanding of malaria and its treatment and prevention, and MORU’s focus on patient-centred clinical research in local populations has real-world, life-changing global impacts. It’s a phenomenal institution and I’m honoured to be part of their celebrations.

Group photo of Teaching Excellent Awards 2019 awardees© Image credit: Rema RamakrishnanFinally, I would also like to congratulate all the nominees and winners from this year’s Teaching Excellence Awards. I hosted this excellent event alongside Professor David Vaux, Deputy Head of Division (Education) and Jane Dale, Head of Education Policy in late October, and was hugely impressed by the outstanding, talented people and projects that were celebrated that evening. You too can be inspired by our winners – see our website for more details.


Professor Gavin Screaton, Head of Division

November 2019