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Friday, 28 September, 2001, 11:47 GMT 12:47 UK
Medical schools come together
The plans for the new Queen Mary buidling
The design for the new state-of-the-art building
Two of London's leading medical schools are being brought together in the East End in a new 33.5m complex.

From 2004, students and researchers at the Barts and the Queen Mary School of Medicine and Dentistry will study together in a state-of-the-art building opposite the Royal London hospital in Whitechapel.

It is hoped the development will improve working conditions for researchers and students.

Professor Adrian Smith, principal of Queen Mary, University of London, said: "This dynamic new building will become a landmark in London.

Interactive centre

"Its bold architecture and design reflects the cutting-edge medical research and teaching that will take place inside it."

The scheme is being funded publicly, with contributions from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the NHS and Queen Mary, University of London.

Construction of the building, designed by Alsop Architects and Amec, will commence in 2002.

Part of the new building will be The Centre of the Cell, an interactive science centre for local schoolchildren, parents and teachers.

Public consultation

The space, which has been developed by Professor Fran Balkwill with start-up funding from the National Endowment of Science, Technology and the Arts (Nesta), will give the public access to the medical school.

It will be divided into subject exhibition zones where children can explore and learn about the human body.

From small windows in The Centre of the Cell children can take a look behind the scenes as medical researchers work beneath them.

A public consultation with local people is to begin immediately.

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