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The Wellcome building on the Old Road Campus, University of Oxford.

Wellcome has today announced funding of £118 million to 14 major research centres, including three centres based in Oxford. 

The Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics, the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging, and the Wellcome Centre for Ethics, Innovation, Globalisation and Medicine, are among the centres across the UK and South Africa to secure the funding for the next five years. 

All of the centres aim to advance our understanding of health and disease, and span fundamental and social sciences, humanities, clinical research and engineering.

One of the seven renewed existing Centres, the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics, has been based in Oxford for 22 years. The Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging and the Wellcome Centre for Ethics, Innovation, Globalisation and Medicine are among the seven newly established centres. 

The Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics has played a pioneering role in the progress and success of human disease genetics and mechanism research. The renewal of Wellcome funding will enable it to continue to exploit human genetics and uncover disease biology, improving human healthcare through the development of more precise diagnostic tests and preventative or therapeutic interventions. 

The Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging is focussed on enabling novel fundamental discoveries of brain function. Neuroimaging is a powerful tool for connecting current advances in the measurement of brain circuits and large-scale datasets being generated by clinical and epidemiological studies, bridging the gap between laboratory neuroscience and human health. 

The Wellcome Centre for Ethics, Innovation, Globalisation and Medicine will provide a platform for collaboration between researchers in ethics, the humanities, and medical sciences. Located in Oxford’s Big Data Institute, the Centre will identify and address the challenges to ethics raised by developments in data science, genomics, neuroscience, and globalisation. 

Prof Matthew Wood, Associate Head of Research at the Medical Sciences Division, University of Oxford, said: “One of the great strengths of research at the University of Oxford is the number of world-class researchers working in close proximity, creating unrivalled opportunities for collaboration and knowledge-sharing. 

“This significant investment in Oxford demonstrates the importance of the research being carried out here, which is constantly expanding our knowledge of science and health, and raising the quality of medical care globally.” 

Wellcome’s Director Dr Jeremy Farrar said: “Wellcome Centres play a special role in the global research ecosystem. By creating places where researchers can flourish we can catalyse world-leading research and translation, and amplify its influence and impact. 

“At Wellcome we believe in long term support for discovery-driven science, and Wellcome Centres are an outstanding environment for researchers to further our understanding of fundamental biology, accelerate translation to clinical practice, and explore the social and cultural context of medicine."