A major funding award will enable researchers to tackle some of the most difficult challenges facing medical science.
The £3.5m award from the Wellcome-Wolfson Foundation will create a new state-of-the-art centre to support research in the emerging discipline of systems medicine.
The development will include world-class teaching and research facilities.
Systems medicine is revolutionising the way researchers try to understand and treat common diseases, by combining expertise in chemistry, physics, computer science, mathematics, genetics and medicine.
The new building will link the three world-leading research centres that make up the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (IGMM).
The Institute consists of the Molecular Medicine Centre, the Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre and the Medical Research Council Human Genetics Unit and houses more than 500 scientists.
Their interests span from birth defects to end of life care, including psychiatric disorders, ageing, stroke, diseases of the brain, kidney, eye, bones, joints, lungs and intestine, and cancer.
By adding chemists, physicists and computer scientists, researchers hope that the development will further boost the Institute’s reputation for translational medicine.
Translational medicine is the process that transforms laboratory findings into new ways of diagnosing and treating patients.
The four-storey facility at the Western General Hospital will have an open design to encourage interaction and collaboration between researchers.
It will provide teaching and office spaces, computing suites and a new common room.
The development will also free up existing laboratories to enable expansion of IGMM research programmes.
This iconic new building will bring together scientists and clinicians across the Institute and will be vital for our goal to identify pathways underlying disease and to use this information for clinical benefit.
The University is in active discussion with other potential funders to raise the total sum of £10m needed to complete the project.
Building is set to start in 2012 and be ready for occupation in 2014.