BBSRC National Vaccinology Centre opens at Pirbright InstituteBBSRC National Vaccinology Centre opens at Pirbright Institute
March 30, 2017
The U.K.'s Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) announced that HRH The Princess Royal officially opened the BBSRC National Vaccinology Centre: The Jenner Building — a world-leading vaccine development facility located at The Pirbright Institute in Surrey, U.K.
The BBSRC National Vaccinology Centre accommodates 100 scientists working on cutting-edge research to generate exciting new vaccines for a variety of livestock diseases, including those that can spread to people. Scientists at the facility mainly focus on poultry diseases such as avian influenza and Marek’s disease, but they also develop vaccines for other animal viruses such as African horse sickness virus.
Construction of the BBSRC National Vaccinology Centre cost £24 million, which was part of a £350 million strategic capital government investment through BBSRC as part of its continued commitment to support the U.K.’s position in bioscience through development at the Pirbright Campus.
Recent breakthroughs at Pirbright include using new technologies that facilitate the development of a new generation of genetically modified vaccines. These are quicker and cheaper to produce and, more crucially, are capable of protecting against a variety of diseases, paving the way for universal vaccines against several different strains of viruses like avian influenza.
Pirbright is a global leader in the development of new vaccines and diagnostics and provides a national surveillance and response capability to the U.K. for a range of high-consequence livestock virus diseases and those that spread from animals to humans. Pirbright is home to the World Reference Laboratory for foot and mouth disease and the U.K./European Union reference laboratory for bluetongue disease.
Bryan Charleston, interim director and chief executive officer of The Pirbright Institute, said, “Our innovative new facilities will enable scientists to develop a greater understanding of virus/host interactions and how best to combat diseases using the latest technologies, including the genetic modification of vaccines and viruses.
“Extensive investment by BBSRC and the government in our infrastructure and the unique expertise of our scientists and staff will position the institute to continue to deliver innovative world-leading science that provides economic and health benefits on a global scale,” he said.
The Jenner Building features shared, open-plan laboratories that can each house between six and 30 scientists to encourage interaction and collaboration. Specialized labs include a bio-imaging cell culture suite and a home office incubation laboratory.
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