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‘Landmark’ biomedical engineering hub opens in London

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A new London research facility will work to advance life-changing medical technologies and treatments.

The Sir Michael Uren Hub has opened at Imperial College London’s White City Campus.

Designed as a multidisciplinary collaborative facility, the Sir Michael Uren Hub provides space for Imperial’s researchers, engineers, scientists and clinicians to work alongside one another to tackle biomedical and healthcare problems.

Professor Alice Gast, president of Imperial College London, said the Hub will bring together more than 500 engineers, clinicians, and scientists to develop new and affordable medical technologies.

They will combine the latest medical research and engineering to improve the treatment and diagnosis of diverse medical conditions, from finding ways to treat dementia to creating bionic limbs.

“This landmark building enables our researchers, engineers, scientists and clinicians to work side by side to address some of the most pressing biomedical and healthcare problems of our time.

“By translating life-changing research into new and affordable medical technology we will improve patient care for generations to come.”

The 13-storey building includes state-of-the-art laboratory and office facilities for the next generation of biomedical engineering research focused on a variety of technologies and applications.

Housing interdisciplinary research initiatives from across Imperial’s departments and faculties, the building will take medical innovations from the lab to the wards, benefitting from its proximity to the College’s Hammersmith Hospital campus. Turning ideas into commercial ventures is promoted by the adjacent Translation and Innovation Hub (IHUB).

Imperial’s Provost Ian Walmsley, said: “The Sir Michael Uren Hub is our new home for more than 500 engineers, clinicians and scientists working across disciplinary boundaries to enable improved care for patients with a broad range of conditions from arthritis to dementia.

“The Hub has created a new focal point for health research in London.

“The Hub is a real testament to the catalysing impact of philanthropy, not just in terms of the building itself, but in the way it will enable new ways of working, new approaches to problems and new relationships that different groups have been able to build within the building.”

Understanding musculoskeletal health

One of the facilities based in the building is the MSk Lab, comprising a team of over 30 full-time surgeons, physiotherapists, scientists and engineers all seeking to understand musculoskeletal health and degeneration, and to prevent and treat a wide array of problems associated with impaired mobility.

The MSk Lab aims to improve the clinical outcomes of patients undergoing joint replacement surgery, and reduce the costs of treatments, by developing and using new tools and technologies, improving rehabilitation methods and pioneering improved surgical training and techniques.

The MSk Lab is directed and led by Professor Justin Cobb and Professor Alison McGregor from the Department of Surgery and Cancer.

The building will also host the Musculoskeletal Medical Engineering Centre (MSk MEC) which unites researchers across the College to discover and develop medical engineering solutions for musculoskeletal disorders, such as osteoarthritis.

The Centre’s membership includes over 100 researchers across different technology and application themes and represents a strong and diverse interdisciplinary collaboration of engineers, scientists and clinicians.

A new School of Public Health has recently begun construction at White City and will amplify work in four key areas: World Health, Life-long Health, Community Health and Policy, and Children’s Health and Wellbeing.

The new multidisciplinary building will provide collaborative, flexible, and interactive spaces for academics, collaborators, students and the local community, and house state-of-the-art facilities to support modern advances in genomics, data sciences, community engagement, incubators, and educational facilities.

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