King's awarded £10m for world-leading Hub for Neuropsychiatry Imaging Research and Therapeutics

26 Mar 2015 | Network Updates
The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) today pledged £10m towards a world-leading Hub for Neuropsychiatry Imaging Research and Therapeutics at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London.

King’s is among seven institutions to receive funding totaling £100 million as part of HEFCE’s UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF). The funding will allow researchers to purchase state of the art equipment that will transform the scientific potential to advance therapies for patients with neurological and psychiatric disorders.

King’s will invest in equipment capable of imaging the earliest disease-critical molecular events in living nerve cells, grown in the laboratory right up to the whole brain tissues in our patients. This will generate a continuous pipeline of research that will advance the knowledge of disease mechanisms, reveal new avenues for therapy and test innovative therapeutics. This unique concentration of expertise and technology will catalyse collaboration with other centres of excellence and build lasting partnerships with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. It will also inspire the next generation of neuroscientists and ensure that the UK maintains its position at the forefront of neuroscience research.

The Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute is set to open this summer at the heart of King’s College London’s Denmark Hill campus. Funded by a collaboration between several philanthropic donors and King’s Health Partners, it will bring together 250 clinicians and scientists from disciplines including: neuroimaging, neurology, psychiatry, genetics, molecular, cellular biology and drug discovery; in efforts to fast-track new treatments to patients affected by disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, depression, schizophrenia, epilepsy and stroke, while strengthening King’s portfolio of internationally recognised brain research.

Professor Christopher Shaw, Director of The Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute at King’s College London, said: ‘We have just completed building an exceptional research facility but funding from HEFCE means that we can dramatically raise the scale and ambition of the research we do to create a world-leading Hub for Neuropsychiatry Imaging Research and Therapeutics. Our vision is to tackle the really hard conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, motor neurone disease and schizophrenia, and change the future for our patients. This investment will ensure that we have the very best tools to make the breakthroughs that are required.’

Professor Shitij Kapur, Executive Dean of IoPPN and Deputy Vice-Principal (Health Sciences) for King’s said: ‘This award is a most welcome recognition of our achievements and strategy with respect to neuroscience. Combined with the opening of The Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute and the recent generous support of many donors, especially The John and Lucille van Geest Foundation, it will allow us to stay at the cutting edge of neuroscience that will underpin the next generation of therapeutic advances for neuropsychiatric disorders.’

Professor Sir Robert Lechler, Executive Director of King's Health Partners and Vice-Principal (Health), King's College London said: ‘This announcement is further reflection of the world class research, education and clinical expertise that sits at the heart of our partnership. This funding will help us continue our mission to translate our outstanding neuroscience research into clinical care as quickly as possible.’

The creation of The Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute would not have been achievable without the generous support from loyal donors. Principal capital support was provided by the The Maurice Wohl Charitable Foundation and The Wolfson Foundation. In addition, several funders have made significant contributions towards specific areas of research to be housed in the institute. These supporters include: The John and Lucille van Geest Foundation, The Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation, Mrs Lily Safra FKC, The Late Professor Noreen Murray CBE FRS FKC, The Late John Paul Getty III, The Waterloo Foundation, The Darwin Trust of Edinburgh, The Cohen Charitable Trust and Charles Sykes Epilepsy Research Trust.

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