A new University of Cambridge research initiative will push the boundaries of medical science by drawing physics deeply into the life sciences.

The Centre for the Physics of Medicine is a £12.5 million construction project, started this week.

Designed by architects Building Design Partnership, ranked number one in the Architects Journal Top 100, the three-storey building will create a suite of open accessible research laboratories, teaching rooms and offices.

Combining a wide range of expertise in physics, biology and medicine, it will be sited next to the world-famous Cavendish Laboratory, home to the Department of Physics at West Cambridge, the University's expanding science and technology campus.

The building will unite researchers from the Departments of Physics, Biochemistry, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering as well as the School of Clinical Medicine.

The Head of the Cavendish Laboratory, Professor Peter Littlewood, said: “We are very pleased that work has begun on this extremely valuable addition to Cambridge's world-changing research portfolio. This initiative continues Cambridge's commitment to innovative collaboration, bringing together researchers from different disciplines in one building to address and solve problems and produce scientific breakthroughs.”

At a start-on-site ceremony today Managing Director Mike Hart of main contractor Willmott Dixon told members of the University and the project team: “We are very pleased to be back in Cambridge working on this important new facility for the university.”

The 13-month Develop and Construct project is being managed by the University's Estate Management and Building Service as part of its ongoing £600 million development programme to provide outstanding education and research facilities for the 21st Century.

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