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The City of Dundee

Dundee is situated in magnificent surroundings on the north bank of the Tay estuary (said to be the cleanest river in Western Europe). To the north are the glens and mountains of Angus and 60 miles to the south is the capital city of Edinburgh. Dundee is small enough to be friendly, yet large enough to provide a full spectrum of sporting and cultural activities. It has its own repertory theatre (and is within easy reach of three others) and has regular visits from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. The University's Bonar Hall provides a focus for a variety of live performances. Opportunities abound for sailing, skiing, climbing, golf, fishing, etc. and excellent sports facilities are available through the University Sports Centre and public sports centres. The City has a modern library, two museums, an art gallery, a new Contemporary Arts Centre, four castles and a public observatory on Balgay Hill. Dundee is on the London-Edinburgh-Aberdeen railway line and also has an air link to London City Airport. It is now on a continuous dual carriageway route from Aberdeen to London, and is excellently placed for road communications within the UK.

The University of Dundee

The University of Dundee is one of the UK's leading universities, internationally recognised for its expertise across a range of disciplines including science, medicine, engineering and art. Dundee has been described by the 2009 Sunday Times University Guide as "one of the prize catches in higher education". The University was shortlisted as University of the Year 2008 by the Times Higher Education Awards, rated second in Scotland for all-round student experience in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey in 2009 and listed as one of the UK's top 20 universities by The Guardian in 2008. The calibre of research at Dundee is high, with 95% of staff working in areas of national or international excellence. The University ranks in the UK’s top three for research income per capita and in the top 20 for research income. Over the last three years Dundee has attracted nearly 150m in research income. The University has a complement of over 18,000 students and 3,000 staff. An annual turnover of 160m generates a further 250m downstream for the economy

The College of Medicine Dentistry & Nursing

The College of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing is headed by Professor Irene Leigh and enjoys an enviable reputation for research and for training the next generation of doctors, dentists and nurses in Scotland.
The College structure is unique in that it is the only place in Scotland where these three complementary disciplines are organised under one umbrella. This has opened possibilities for students, clinicians and researchers to closely interact and develop an appreciation of the work and challenges faced by others working in the care professions. Through the Medical School, Ninewells hospital and the University are closely interlinked working together to ensure the very best, most advanced teaching, research and care for their patients. The 15 million Clinical Research Centre which opened in 2008 on the site of Ninewells hospital is a collaboration between the University and NHS Tayside providing dedicated facilities for patient and volunteer research. The Centre houses state-of-the-art facilities and laboratories for investigating cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and neuroscience.  Two further Centres are also underdevelopment; the Centre for Population Genetics and Pharmacogenomics and the Centre for Molecular Medicine.

Dundee in RAE 2008

The results of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise show that 54% of the University of Dundee’s research is achieving ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ standards.  The University is top in Scotland for biological and laboratory-based clinical sciences, and has both a 5* rated Medical School and College of Life Sciences. The University recorded scores at the 4* level (defined as ‘world leading’) in every subject area submitted to the RAE. 8 of Dundee's submissions were ranked in the top 20 in the UK in their respective fields.

Translational Medicine and Therapeutics in Dundee

The University of Dundee has a number of senior clinical academic staff who are leaders in translational medicine including Professors Irene Leigh, Andrew Morris, Robert Steele, Allan Struthers, Chim Lang, Brian Lipworth, Frank Sullivan and Alastair Thompson.

The University considers translational medicine an institutional priority as demonstrated by various initiatives and collaborations, of which the following are some examples:

  • Dundee hosts the Translational Medicine Research Collaboration’s (TMRC) Core Research Laboratory opened in 2009. This 11.6 million facility provides a centre of excellence for medical and scientific research.  The TMRC is a collaboration involving four of Scotland’s leading universities (Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow), their corresponding health boards, Scottish Enterprise and global pharmaceutical company Wyeth. The partnership aims to raise the commercial profile of Scotland’s translational research in five main therapeutic areas: cardiovascular, women’s health, neurology, oncology and inflammation.

  • The Division of Signal Transduction Therapy (DSTT) is a unique collaboration between scientists in
    the MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit and the College of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee
    and five of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, namely AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck-Serono and Pfizer, which is dedicated to accelerating the development of specific inhibitors of kinases and phosphatases for the treatment of disease, as well as for the study
    of cell signaling. Started in 1998, it was renewed for a further five years in 2003, and with core funding
    of 15 million, and for a further four years in 2008 with core funding of 11 million plus additional fees for special services. It is one of one of the largest ever collaborations between the pharmaceutical company and any UK academic research institute. It involves laboratories based in the Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation Unit, the College of Life Sciences and the Medical School of the University of Dundee, comprising nearly 200 scientific and support staff.

  • Partnership in SINAPSE, building a common platform for multicentre imaging research across Scotland, with critical mass of expertise to support human imaging research.
  • Launched in 2008 as a 15 million University/NHS Tayside partnership the Clinical Research Centre is a state of the art hub facility for the conduct of patient-based research and clinical trials of all phases. The Centre houses state-of-the-art imaging suites containing a top of the range 3T MRI scanner and will soon also house a PET/CT scanner. Uniquely nestling between the two is an operating room to allow use of these scanners before, during, or after surgery. Dundee is the only place worldwide offering sophisticated scanning integrated with an operating theatre providing a distinctive approach to bringing a range of techniques together for patient and researcher benefit in a state-of-the-art setting.

  • The Institute of Medical Science and Technology (IMSAT) is a joint initiative with St Andrews University.  It spans a range of disciplines to create new solutions in diagnostic and therapeutic imaging, targeted drug development and image guided therapy.

  • The Drug Discovery Unit (DDU) at the College of Life Sciences provides an actively managed, milestone- driven drug discovery campaign supported by the Wellcome Trust, Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise and other donors.  DDU is contained within purpose built laboratories with full facilities for compound management, high throughput screening with medicinal, analytical and computational chemistry.  It links closely to in vivo studies at the Medical School.

  • Health Informatics has the potential to revolutionise healthcare by improving both research and the translation of research results into practice. The Health Informatics Centre, a partnership between the University of Dundee, NHS Tayside and NHS National Services Scotland, provides secure access to a comprehensive set of linkable data about health and healthcare within the Tayside population, allowing investigation of the contribution of the individual, the community and the health service to the basis of health and disease.

  • The Tayside Clinical Trials Unit, University of Dundee is based in the Medical School and provides support for researchers, University management and external organisations in matters pertaining to clinical trials.

NHS Tayside

The University’s clinical academic staff provide care in many hospital and community settings in close partnership with NHS colleagues.  NHS Tayside is responsible for meeting the health needs of more than 388,780 people living in Tayside. NHS Tayside employs approximately 14,000 staff and provides a comprehensive range of primary, community-based and acute hospital services for the populations of Dundee City, Angus and Perth & Kinross. Acute services are also provided by Ninewells Hospital and Medical School to the population of North East Fife.  Annual budget is now over 750 million of public money which works out at around 2million spent by NHS Tayside for every day of the year.  NHS Tayside’s principal health organisations are Tayside NHS Board, the Single Delivery Unit and three Community Health Partnerships (CHPs) in Angus, Dundee and Perth & Kinross.

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Last modified: 28 January 2014   2007 The University of Edinburgh