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Cambridge to host Genomic Medical Centre

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The Cambridge Biomedical Campus will host a national centre for genome study following a successful bid led by Cambridge University Health Partners (CUHP). Studying in detail the genomes – the molecular make-up – of individuals could lead to major breakthroughs in diagnosing and treating rare and inherited diseases and common cancers.

A Genomic Medicine Centre (GMC) will be set up to coordinate research carried out in Cambridge and across the region as part of the Department of Health’s project to sequence the genomes of 100,000 NHS patients by 2017.

The bid, led by CUHP on behalf of the East of England, builds on the strengths of Cambridge University Hospitals and its Cambridge Biomedical Campus partners in the field of genomics, and adds the complementary expertise of Leicester, Norfolk and Norwich and Nottingham teaching hospitals.

Professor Patrick Maxwell, Director of Cambridge University Health Partners and Regius Professor of Physic at the University of Cambridge said:

“I am delighted that the Department has recognised the strength of our bid, which drew on the combined expertise found on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus and from NHS partners across the region. This will add extra impetus to the study of genomics already underway here in Cambridge, led by our outstanding clinicians and researchers.”

Dr Keith McNeil, Chief Executive of Cambridge University Hospitals, said:

“The study of genomics is at the forefront of global efforts to diagnose and treat disease. Being part of a study on this scale means more information will be available to help understand an individual’s likelihood of being affected by disease, earlier diagnosis, and more effective targeting of treatment. This will massively strengthen the hand of our expert clinicians and researchers to help people live longer and healthier lives.”

“The GMC will serve a population of 6.5m, and I am absolutely delighted that we are able to pursue this initiative in partnership with our NHS colleagues across the east of England.”