Centers of Excellence - A spotlight on the areas of Scotland which have become the hub of life sciences activity in recent years - BioPharm International

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Centers of Excellence
A spotlight on the areas of Scotland which have become the hub of life sciences activity in recent years

BioPharm International


The Edinburgh Science Triangle

Active collaborations across various industries are integral in continuing to develop innovative technologies and major breakthroughs in scientific research. This is extremely evident in the life sciences where, for instance, engineers are working with biomedical researchers to advance therapies for several diseases, and in nanotechnology, which is becoming more instrumental in developing targeted drug delivery. Science parks are emerging around the world, and this is a great opportunity for companies with different specializations to partner with one another to achieve the same goal: to advance scientific discovery. Scotland has taken this notion further and formed the Edinburgh Science Triangle (EST, http://www.edinburgsciencetriangle.com/), which encompasses seven of Scotland's science parks: Center for Biomedical Research ( http://www.scottish-enterprise.com/biomedicalcentre), BioCampus, Alba Campus, Roslin Biocenter, Edinburgh Technopole, Heriot-Watt Research Park, and Pentlands Science Park.

The EST is now one of world's 20 largest science parks, with over 30 years of experience since Europe's first science park opened at Heriot-Watt University in 1971. The expertise offered by the EST ranges from bioinformatics and stem cell research to energy and optoelectronics.

Furthermore, the close proximity between academia and industry, with four major universities in the area, broadens the research capabilities that are available to each of the science parks.

The newest addition to the EST, the Centre for Biomedical Research (CBR), is a $1-billion project that will incorporate commercial, academic, and clinical ventures with research collaborations. The CBR proposition is based on the co-location of the University of Edinburgh's internationally acclaimed medical school, the new state-of-the-art teaching hospital, the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, and the Queen's Medical Research Institute. Ian Wilmut, creator of Dolly the sheep, is head of the Center for Regenerative Medicine, which is also based at the CBR, and will be overseeing stem cell research aimed at developing therapeutic treatments for diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and Parkinson's disease. As a whole, the CBR will be commercializing its research and will put Edinburgh on the map as one of the world's top biomedical research and development centers.

In addition, another center of excellence for stem cell research, bioinformatics, and genomics in the EST is the Roslin BioCenter ( http://www.roslinbiocentre.co.uk/). Roslin BioCenter is a science park developed around Roslin Institute, most notable for being the birthplace of Dolly the sheep. The Roslin Institute ( http://www.roslin.ac.uk/) continues to be one of the world's leading centers for animal biotechnology and farm animal genetics. Most recently, Roslin Institute established a non-profit company, Roslin Cells Ltd ( http://www.roslincells.com/), in which Paul De Sousa, MD, will lead a team of researchers in commercializing human stem cell lines worldwide without intellectual property rights. Moreover, some companies such as Geron Bio-Med ( http://www.geron.com/), Nexus Oncology ( http://www.nexusoncology.com/), and also Genecom ( http://www.genecombio.com/) allow Roslin BioCenter to offer others the opportunity to become part of a top scientific community, especially in the areas of genomics and bioinformatics. In fact, Edinburgh is already home to the Edinburgh Center for Bioinformatics ( http://www.bioinformatics.ed.ac.uk/) and the UK National e-Science Center ( http://www.nesc.ac.uk/).


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