A new state-of-the-art medical research centre in London is to help scientists in their quest to find cures for conditions such as type 1 diabetes.
The UCL Institute for Immunity and Transplantation was opened this week at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead by the Duke of York, with the goal of becoming a global hub for immune system-related disorders.
The £47 million first-of-its-kind unit has been designed to help researchers conduct ground-breaking work to repair and replace damaged organs, and cure lifelong conditions including type 1 diabetes, spinal cord injuries and even types of blindness, according to Professor Hans Stauss, director of the institute.
It is hoped that thousands of people will benefit, including organ donor patients and people with cancer, HIV, and chronic hypertension (high blood pressure).
The centre will focus on novel therapies using cells engineered in the lab and DNA therapy.
Planned treatments include one for type 1 diabetes in which lab-engineered cells release ‘shots’ of blood sugar-regulating hormone insulin into the patient’s bloodstream, as well as a vaccine that wards off infections before transplant surgery .
The UCL Institute for Immunity and Transplantation is a partnership between University College London and the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.

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