CTIR building makes progress

 Centre for Translational and Interdisciplinary Research (CTIR) building- University of Dundee

Work on a £12.5 million project to create a new Centre for Translational and Interdisciplinary Research (CTIR) building for University of Dundee continues to make good progress.

The new four-storey CTIR building has been designed to be self contained and will be connected to the north side of the University’s Wellcome Trust Building. Once work is complete on the project the new building will house approximately 100 research and support staff, increasing to 180 staff members once the upper floors are developed.

Inside the new facility, the building will comprise a mix of laboratories and associated office space, in addition to a state-of-the-art Drug Discovery High Throughput Screening Laboratory, situated on the ground floor. An open plan floor, dedicated to interdisciplinary research – including mathematical biology, data analysis and software development – will be included on the second floor.

Construction work began on the CTIR building in June 2012 with Tracey Brothers Ltd as the main contractor and Boswell Mitchell & Johnston as the architect. WJR Christie & Partners is the quantity surveyor. Work on the new CTIR building is currently scheduled to reach completion in November 2013.

Funding for the project was provided through University of Dundee, the Wellcome-Wolfson Capital Award in Biomedical science and through agencies and charitable trusts. Funders include the Scottish Funding Council, the Leng Charitable Trust, the Sir Jules Thorn Charitable Trust, the Lethendy Trust, the Binks Trust, the Tay Charitable Trust, the Margaret Murdoch Trust, the Leach Family Trust and the Sylvia Aitken Charitable Trust.

Dean of Research in the College of Life Sciences, Professor Michael Ferguson, said:

“The build on the CTIR is progressing well and we are excited about how it will enhance our capabilities across key areas of research.

“We are extremely grateful to the organisations who have generously supported this major investment in what we are doing at Dundee.

“This facility will help further develop the already very strong drug discovery programmes we have in this area of neglected tropical diseases – including African trypansomiasis (sleeping sickness), Leishmaniasis, Chagas’ Disease, tuberculosis and malaria – which are producing strong candidates for drug development. We expect to see these leading to effective drugs for at least one of these diseases.

“We are also addressing other unmet medical needs which affect millions of people. What we aim to do is translate our basic research in areas like cancer and eczema, and other diseases, to produce chemical agents that can tackle these problems in an innovative way.”

One of the key aspects of the project is to break down the barriers between the different scientific disciplines. In order to fully achieve this, a new enclosed street is being created between the new building and the existing Wellcome Trust Building, and will provide a meeting and collaboration space for researchers as well as house the CTIR reception.

The new building will feature large anodised aluminium clad panels on the front facade, which incorporate artistic abstractions that represent four key scales of Life Science Research: Molecular, Organellar, Cellular and Tissue. Each of the panels measure 1.5m wide x 3.6m and are arranged vertically into groups of four.

The reason behind the implementation of the artwork is to encourage the general public, visitors and the wider University campus to engage with the scientific research. Professor Elaine Shemilt, her team from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design and BMJ Architects are responsible for translating the artwork onto the panels.

Whilst work is taking place on the project, access to the Wellcome Trust Building, as well as the University’s MSI and JBC buildings has been altered. In addition, car parking in the north of the Wellcome Trust Building and the JBC buildings will be unavailable.

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