Chris Skidmore, Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, has announced a £30 million award to the University of Cambridge to support the new Cambridge Heart and Lung Research Institute (HLRI).

This follows a £10 million commitment from the BHF towards the institute, which will draw together the highest concentration of heart and lung researchers from academia, healthcare and industry in Europe. It has set an ambitious five-year target to demonstrate proof-of-concept for at least ten new drugs or diagnostic approaches in heart and lung diseases.

The HLRI will be situated next to Royal Papworth Hospital, which was officially opened by HM the Queen recently, and forms part of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, the centrepiece of the largest biotech cluster outside the United States. It will be home to over 380 scientists and state-of-the-art laboratories in genomics, population sciences, research into cellular mechanisms of disease and translational science. It will also include a special ten-bed facility where the first-in-patient studies of new treatments can be conducted.

Work on the HLRI will begin almost immediately, with ground-breaking taking place in November and construction starting in early 2020.

Medical Director, Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, said:

“Through this funding, we will help create a fantastic centre that will have a key role in driving forward our ambitious programme of heart and circulatory research. By bringing together world-leading scientists it will enable exciting opportunities for collaboration between researchers from different disciplines. It will also accelerate the transformation of discoveries in the laboratory to treatments available at patients’ bedside.

“This grant is one of the largest the BHF has ever made and we have only been able to make this investment because of the incredible generosity of the public.”