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Last Updated: Monday, 3 April 2006, 15:09 GMT 16:09 UK
Research centre will 'boost' city
Dundee University building
Dundee will work with other Scots universities on the project
Dundee is at the heart of a 50m research project bringing together Scottish expertise and one of the world's largest pharmaceutical firms.

The creation of a new laboratory at Dundee University will create 50 jobs, possibly rising to 120 in five years.

The core research facility is being set up to collaborate with centres of excellence in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Dundee itself.

The aim is to translate scientific discoveries into medical advances.

US pharmaceutical firm Wyeth is contributing 33m to the project, with Scottish Enterprise chipping in up to 17.5m.

Early detection

Dundee already has an international reputation in the life sciences sector.

Professor Alastair Thompson, of Dundee University, said the project, which will also involve NHS Tayside, aimed to use advances in laboratory science for the prevention, early detection and treatment of conditions such as cancer and diabetes.

High value jobs are incredibly important to the local economy
Shona Cormack
Scottish Enterprise Tayside

"This builds on what is already going on with Dundee as a centre of excellence and it's going to allow us to take things forward perhaps at a much quicker rate than the 10 to 20 years that it has taken in the past," he said.

The concept of translational medicine, in which Wyeth is an international leader, is seen as a revolutionary new approach to developing drugs and treatments.

It focuses research on new tests, called biomarkers, for the diagnosis and monitoring of human diseases.

Biomarkers are new proteins which can be measured in blood samples or X-rays of patients and used to follow the progress and response to the treatment of patients with a wide range of conditions.

The biomarkers will be used in specialised clinical trials within Scotland's established medical research network to speedily develop new treatments from laboratories.

Bridging gaps

The test will also help adapt prescription drugs to individual needs by letting doctors discover which patients respond best to which medicines.

It is also hoped the new centre will attract more world-class scientists to Dundee.

Shona Cormack, from Scottish Enterprise Tayside, said: "This is a tremendous example of what can be achieved by Scotland focussing on its international strengths and collaborating across organisations.

"The collaboration is likely to bring up to 110 high-value jobs to Scotland, a significant proportion of these based in Dundee, and a variety of spin-off benefits, such as the potential for companies and licensing opportunities."

Ms Cormack added: "High value jobs are incredibly important to the local economy and also add to the range of high quality job opportunities for world-class scientists who we hope to continue to attract."

Graham McKee, director of strategic planning at Dundee University, said it was very important to collaborate with the other medical universities.

"This beauty of this project is that it bridges the gap between the strengths we have and moves us towards what we think will be another level," he said.

Medical research gets 50m boost
03 Apr 06 |  Scotland

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