The University of Glasgow has developed a long-standing partnership with NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Glasgow City Council and Glasgow City Region City Deal to improve the health of people in Scotland, and bring innovation and growth to Glasgow.

Precision Medicine – an approach which enables researchers to identify and develop treatments that are ‘precise’ and effective to the individual characteristics of each patient- has been identified as an area of significant strength in Scotland.

The BEIS Science and Innovation Audit ‘Precision Medicine Innovation in Scotland’ demonstrated that precision medicine has the potential to be transformative for Scotland and the UK’s life science clusters. The audit highlighted the opportunity Precision Medicine represents for Scotland to attract inward investment, and develop expertise which can be exported globally.

Investments at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital have established Glasgow as a world leader in Precision Medicine. By taking a collaborative and partnership approach, spaces have been created which bring together academia, industry and the NHS.

Living Laboratory – a game changer

In 2020 Glasgow was awarded £38m to create the Precision Medicine Living Laboratory – an internationally leading project focused on translating cutting-edge science and innovation into a real-world clinical setting. The government funding was awarded through UK Research and Innovation’s flagship Strength in Places Fund supported by additional funding from industrial partners and a significant investment through the Glasgow City Region City Deal and Glasgow City Council.

Working together, the consortium of public and private partners, led by the University, will create a cluster of Precision Medicine excellence in Govan, creating a facility which will have unparalleled interactions between academia, industry and the health service. The Living Lab is projected to deliver 446 high-value jobs and £136m gross value added (GVA) over an 8-year period.

Professor Dame Anna Dominiczak is Scotland’s leading expert on precision medicine: “The Living Lab will offer a game-changing opportunity to bring a dynamic collective of industry, academia and the NHS together to work on research and development opportunities that will have potential and implications for the NHS and ultimately patients.”

The Centre is also attracting academics and businesses to relocate from elsewhere in Europe to be based in Glasgow, as part of this world-leading beacon of science and innovation.

These developments, together with the existing infrastructure at the QEUH, will create the Glasgow Riverside Innovation District. This new innovation district will reimagine Glasgow’s proud industrial heritage for the 21st century and establish Glasgow’s leadership in the high-tech industries of the future.

The Glasgow Precision Medicine Ecosystem

The Living Lab will build on the success of the Clinical Innovation Zone (CIZ). Based at the QEUH it is the first clinical-academic industry campus worldwide designed around the clinical implementation of precision medicine.

The Clinical Innovation Zone is a unique space in Scotland where industry, academia and the NHS work alongside each other on Precision Medicine projects. It is also home to the University’s £32m Imaging Centre of Excellence (ICE), which includes the UK’s first 7T-MRI scanner in an acute clinical setting. The scanner allows scientists and clinicians to study the human body in greater resolution than ever before, hugely benefiting patients across the UK and beyond.

The CIZ also houses the £3.4m Molecular Pathology Node, the largest of its kind in the UK. The Node brings scientists, pathologists and clinicians together to develop and perform new tests that better diagnose patients and guide treatment in cancer and chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.