The Milner Research Labs, which will open in April 2019 in the Jeffrey Cheah Biomedical Centre on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, will break down physical barriers between industry and academia, providing a hub for collaborative science. Here company and academic scientists will work together, side by side at the bench, creating a unique and innovative research envrionment.

The Labs will include:

  • Specialist Research Centres
  • Academics in residence
  • Companies in residence
  • An Accelerator programme

How to work with us:

  • through a collaboration with one of our consortium partners
  • through collaboration with the Milner Centre for Therapeutic Sciences, e.g. in target validation or screening a new cellular disease model
  • by attending our events in 2019 e.g. annual Symposium, new Affiliate Series
  • through application to the Accelerator programme

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Centre for Therapeutic Science

The Milner Therapeutics Institute will drive its own research programme and drug discovery pipeline, with a particular focus on oncology. This programme, which will be led by our Drug Discovery Programme Manager Dr Rebecca Harris, will also provide new opportunities for pre-competitive collaborative projects with academics on the campus and with our consortium partners.

Our scientific advisory board will provide essential expertise in steering this programme.

Our computational biology team, led by Dr Namshik Han, will be driving new applications of computational biology and AI in oncology research, with a key focus on the identification of novel therapeutic targets in oncology. This is being done in collaboration with LifeArc and Storm Therapeutics.

This Milner research programme will align with the Onco-Innovation programme of the CRUK Cambridge Centre and a central aim of the Milner Research labs will be to enable the translational potential of research coming out of groups at the CRUK Cambridge Centre.

We will also establish a phenotypic screening platform, which will allow genetic or chemical screening of cellular disease models in collaboration with campus researchers. This will be essential for functional validation of targets identified by the computational biology team.

Functional Genomics Centre

AstraZeneca and Cancer Research UK will together form this centre of excellence in genetic screening, cancer modelling and big data processing aimed at accelerating the discovery of new cancer medicines. This is being established with the expert guidance of Professor Greg Hannon, Director of the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute. The Functional Genomics Centre will further develop CRISPR technology to better understand the biology of cancer, creating biological models that may be more reflective of human disease, and advancing computational approaches to better analyse big datasets. These approaches will be designed to inform new druggable targets in oncology by using clinical insights to better understand tumour disease and resistance mechanisms.

Centre for Proteomics

The Milner will house the Cambridge Centre for Proteomics – an internationally established proteomics facility which strives for the development of robust proteomics technology for application to a wide variety of biological questions, making new technologies available to collaborators of CCP and customers of the Core Facility.

Companies in residence

Selected start-up and pharma companies will be housed in the Milner Research Labs.

Our pharma partners will work on pre-competitive projects in collaboration with Cambridge researchers and also hot-desk in the Labs, facilitating further interactions with academics on the campus.

Accelerator programme

The transition of ideas into concrete therapeutic principles requires mentoring and space for research. 

Start Codon, a new strategic initiative aimed at driving the translation of world-class research into commercially successful companies, has been founded and launched with funding from keystone investors includingCambridge Innovation Capital, Babraham Bioscience Technologies, Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, Dr Jonathan Milner and Dr Ian Tomlinson. Start Codon’s executive team will be led by Dr Jason Mellad, previously CEO of Cambridge Epigenetix.

Start Codon will identify and recruit high potential life science and healthcare companies from across the UK and beyond, provide seed-funding, and leverage the world-class resources of the Cambridge Cluster to reduce risk and prepare them for a successful Series A fundraise. The accelerator will be the first within the Cambridge Cluster to provide life science start-ups with significant investment (up to £250K), a full-time dedicated team of experienced and active mentors, and office and lab space (located at the Milner Therapeutics Institute). Start Codon now plans to raise a venture fund with the goal of investing in and supporting up to 50 start-up companies over the next 5 years.

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