University school named after Wales’s Nobel Prize winner
6 March 2013
In a special unveiling ceremony held yesterday in Cardiff's civic centre, the University officially re-named its prestigious School of Biosciences in honour of its Nobel Prize winning Chancellor, Sir Martin Evans FRS. Coinciding with this event was the official opening of the School of Biosciences' new £4 million avant-garde extension.
The building which houses the School of Biosciences has been re-named the Sir Martin Evans Building, in celebration of its former director, whose contribution to medicine has earned him global recognition. To date, Sir Martin is the only scientist working in Wales to have won a Nobel Prize. He is popularly known for his discovery of stem cells that have transformed the experimental analysis and understanding of mammalian genetics and also have the potential to be transformed into any kind of specialised cell to be used in tissue repair.
The unveiling ceremony was held in the presence of a number of luminaries that included Nobel Prize winner and Cardiff University Professorial Research Fellow, Robert Huber; the School's current Director, Professor Ole Petersen FRS, and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Elizabeth Treasure.
Congratulating Cardiff University's School of Biosciences on their investment, Edwina Hart, Minister for Business, Enterprise, Science and Technology, said:
"This is a considerable investment for the life sciences in Wales. Boosting our science research capability is vital to improving our economic wellbeing and securing a more prosperous, healthy and sustainable future for Wales, as highlighted in our Science for Wales strategy.
"We recognise the vital links between the research and science skills base in Wales, and the processes of innovation, development and commercialisation that transform scientific outputs of research into economic advantage for Wales."
The University's Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Elizabeth Treasure, said:
"We are very pleased to name the School of Biosciences after Sir Martin Evans. His scientific research and contribution to higher education have made him a role model for burgeoning scientists across the country.
"This is a proud day for Sir Martin and Cardiff University. We hope his continuing legacy will inspire our students to do great things."
The new two-storey extension has been designed to be in keeping with the surrounding architecture of the University and Cardiff's civic centre. The building will be student-focused, offering undergraduates easy access to all facilities. The extension will also create space further inside the building for teaching and learning.
The Cardiff School of Biosciences is one of the largest bioscience departments in the UK with over 100 academic staff, 150 research staff, more than 160 postgraduates and 2000 undergraduate students. Supported by state-of-the-art facilities, its topical courses and cutting-edge research spans the full range of the Life Sciences from whole (eco) systems to molecular biology.
In recent years, the school's research has distinguished itself at the highest levels and currently boasts three Royal Society Fellows and four Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences. The School has annually been awarded new research grants totalling £10million from funding bodies such as UK Research Councils and The Wellcome Trust. The School's European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute was recently awarded a sum of £2.45million to drive forward its world class research in investigating cancer causes and the development of new therapies to halt its spread.
In the two days following the opening of the Sir Martin Evans Building, Cardiff University, in collaboration with Academy Europaea, is hosting an international Bioscience Birthday Symposium for the School's Director, Professor Ole Petersen. Spanning the 6th and 7th of March, the symposium - held in the National Museum, Cardiff – will be attended by some of the world's leading authorities on issues ranging from Pancreatitis to Neuroscience. The full programme of the symposium along with a list of its speakers can be found here.