A £13 million Clinical Research Centre that will serve as a hub for clinical studies and research projects in areas such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and mental illness has officially opened at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, Scotland.

The Centre, which is a joint venture between the University of Dundee and NHS Tayside, was opened by Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing. She pledged £1.6 million of Scottish government funding for a PET-CT (positron emission tomography - computed tomography) scanner at the CRC that will help researchers to trace changes in cancer cell activity.

Funded by the University of Dundee, NHS Tayside and a donation from the Souter Foundation, with additional support from Scottish Enterprise Tayside and the Chief Scientist’s Office, the three-story facility will function as a ‘research hotel’ where investigators in experimental medicine will be able to book beds and other facilities for patient-based projects, the University said.

The Centre will link with the Scottish Clinical Research Network, complementing existing facilities in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. It is physically linked to the core laboratory of the Translational Medicine Research Collaboration, which is being built at Ninewells, as well as to the hospital itself.

Jill Farrell, regional director for Scottish Enterprise said the CRC was an “excellent boost to Tayside’s world-class reputation” in the life sciences and through partnerships would play a key role in the sector’s further development in Scotland.