Scotland’s Translational Medicine Research Collaboration (TMRC) has opened a £11.6 million Core Research Laboratory at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.

With capacity for up to 120 staff, the new purpose-built laboratory will focus on the development and validation of disease biomarkers that can be used to accelerate drug discovery and development by helping to bridge the gap between preclinical and clinical studies.

Set up in April 2006 with funding of £58 million, the TMRC is a collaboration between four of Scotland’s leading universities (Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow), their corresponding health boards, Scottish Enterprise and the pharmaceutical multinational Wyeth, which is providing £33 million over five years to support the initiative.

The TMRC aims to raise the commercial profile of Scotland’s translational research in five main therapeutic areas: cardiovascular disease, women’s health, neurology, oncology and inflammation. It has already led to 67 ongoing translational medicine research projects worth more than £23 million, which will be delivered across the partner institutions and the core laboratory in Dundee.

Ninewells Hospital also hosts a £13 million Clinical Research Centre that serves as a hub for clinical studies and research projects in areas such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and mental illness. The Centre, a joint venture between the University of Dundee and NHS Tayside, officially opened in July 2008.