The Rosalind Franklin Institute has passed a major milestone – celebrating the ‘topping out’ of the building referred to as the ‘Hub’. Reaching the highest point of the construction was marked at Harwell Campus by members of Rosalind Franklin’s family laying the final piece at the top of the four-storey, £40million, build.
The most electromagnetically stable space on earth
The Institute will be a national centre for life sciences technology development and the Hub building at Harwell will contain highly specialised spaces, including what is considered the most electromagnetically stable space on earth, essential for developing new electron microscopes.
Housing 200 scientists, from the UK and abroad, work will focus on creating new tools and technologies that will enable researchers to see cells better than ever before, improving understanding of: their atomic and molecular composition; their detailed chemistry; and the way change occurs in their structure and behaviour over time.
Explaining why it is such a vital component of the UK Life Sciences sector, Director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute, Professor Jim Naismith, stated ‘The Franklin is there to develop tools which can’t be found anywhere else, and which make a significant difference to the work of researchers.
“We talk about the factor of ten – every technology we develop should make a factor of ten difference to the speed, resolution, or productivity of a technique. This is important as developing new drugs has never been slower or more expensive than it is now. To make an impact on human health, we need new ways to see and understand disease.”
Inspiring school children into STEM
Helping to celebrate this milestone were young scientists from the Downs School, Compton, who are working with the Franklin team on a project to learn about what it takes to be a scientist – ‘collaboration’ and ‘creativity’.