Boost for biomedical research thanks to building revamp at university

A major refurbishment to enhance world-class research facilities for the University of Leeds Faculty of Biological Sciences is complete.

The state-of-the-art lab and office space on levels four and nine of the Garstang Building will be home to research groups focusing on ground-breaking work, including the study of cancer-causing viruses and the development of vaccines against polio and foot-and-mouth disease.

Other projects will include immunology, developmental biology and work on viral proteins, with the open-plan lab space allowing different groups to share knowledge and increase research impact.

Professor Karen Birch, executive dean for the Faculty of Biological Sciences, said: “We are all delighted that this phase of the development of the faculty is complete.

“Seeing the finished design is really exciting and stimulates the imagination for pushing the boundaries of biomedical research.

“This new environment will enable enhanced collaborative research to underpin our vision of exploring biological challenges to accelerate real world impact and translation.”

The new labs and equipment will be available to postdoctoral and PhD researchers, with undergraduate and Masters students able to access them for their research projects.

Replacement windows and improved heating, cooling and ventilation mean the refurbishment will also help to reduce the university’s energy consumption and carbon footprint.

Estates project manager, Sarah Bacsich, added: “Throughout the delivery of this project, it has been a pleasure to work with a team of dedicated staff from the faculty – everyone has remained committed to the project despite the challenges we met along the way.

“Looking ahead, the improvements and new facilities on levels four and nine now provide an exciting new environment for the Faculty of Biological Sciences’ research staff and students.

“This new home will encourage new ways of working to champion ground-breaking research.”

Work on the project began in December 2018 and has involved the refurbishment of more than 91,000 sq ft of space within the Grade II listed Garstang Building and the connected Astbury Building.