Sir Paul Nurse to lead new UKCMRI

In collaboration with Adfero

Sir Paul Nurse is to become the first director and chief executive of the UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation (UKCMRI), a biomedical research institute planned for central London which will bring together world-class scientists and the latest technology.

The Nobel Prize-winning biologist has chaired the UKCMRI Scientific Planning Committee for the past two years and will take up his new post on January 1st 2011.

He said: "I am honoured to have the opportunity to head UKCMRI as it takes shape as one of the foremost biomedical research institutes in the world.

"This is a time of extraordinary opportunity in our quest to understand the causes of health and disease. UKCMRI will have a key role in developing our understanding and ability to tackle many of the most significant diseases that affect people and their families."

Sir Paul - who received a knighthood for services to cancer research and cell biology in 1999 - is currently president of New York's Rockefeller University and has been elected the next president of the Royal Society.

He spent three decades working in the UK, during which time he was director general of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund. The charity later merged with the Cancer Research Campaign to form Cancer Research UK, of which Sir Paul was chief executive.

Sir David Cooksey, chair of UKCMRI, commented: "Paul is an extraordinary scientist and leader. He is the perfect choice to lead the new institute with a wealth of experience in heading some of the world's most prestigious research organisations. He will bring enormous vision and ambition to the new institute - and will cement its place at the heart of global medical research."

UKCMRI has been founded by four of the UK's largest and most successful scientific and academic institutions - the Medical Research Council (MRC), Cancer Research UK, the Wellcome Trust and University College London (UCL).

Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said: "We are delighted that Paul Nurse has been appointed as the first director and chief executive of the UKCMRI. UKCMRI will push the boundaries of research into the conditions that affect all of us and Paul is exactly the kind of inspirational, world-class leader that the UKCMRI needs to achieve this.

"His track record is unparalleled - few can claim on their CV to have been awarded a Nobel Prize; to have helped form and run the world's largest independent cancer charity, Cancer Research UK; to have run the world-renowned Rockefeller University; and be elected as president of the Royal Society.

"UKCMRI will be one of the most significant medical research projects anywhere in the world over the next 20 years. But for the biggest impact we should look to those patients in the future, including those with cancer, who will be diagnosed, treated and cured using breakthroughs that will be made in this new institute."