Milner, AstraZeneca, and MRC partner for functional genomics advancements

The University of Cambridge announced a new partnership with AstraZeneca and the Medical Research Council (MRC) that will establish a new state-of-the-art functional genomics laboratory at the Milner Therapeutics Institute. This marks a significant step forward in our mission to combine the strengths of academia and business to accelerate the development of therapies.

The lab, which is expected to become operational in early 2025, will become part of the UK’s Human Functional Genomics Initiative. This is a key commitment in the Life Sciences Vision to support world class research and innovation in functional genomics and will contribute to the UK’s ambition of having the most advanced genomic healthcare system in the world.

The facility will provide researchers from across the UK with access to large-scale biological and technological tools and house an advanced automated arrayed-CRISPR screening platform. It is hoped that through the use of tools, such as CRISPR gene editing to provide insights into the relationship between genes and disease, scientists will discover new opportunities to develop therapies for chronic diseases including cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic disease.

The new partnership builds upon expertise gained through an existing collaboration between AstraZeneca, the MTI and Cancer Research Horizons, known as the Joint AstraZeneca-Cancer Research Horizons Functional Genomics Centre (FGC) that has been enabling advances in oncology research since 2018. The FGC is currently housed in the MTI and will be relocating later in the year.

 

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