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20th October 2014, 11:21am
New laboratories ready to produce next generation of scientists
A PhD student in the Joseph Banks Laboratories Students and academic staff have begun work in new state-of-the-art laboratories which promise to produce future generations of scientists and pharmacists.

The Joseph Banks Laboratories at the University of Lincoln, UK, welcomed around 1,300 students and staff for the start of the 2014/15 academic year.

The facility has become the new base for the University’s Schools of Life Sciences, Chemistry, and Pharmacy, alongside the neighbouring Minster House.

It is named in honour of the Lincolnshire botanist Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820), who sailed with Captain James Cook on HMS Endeavour and became President of The Royal Society.

Adapted from an existing industrial building, the Joseph Banks Laboratories form the centrepiece of the Lincoln Science and Innovation Park, a visionary partnership between the University of Lincoln and Lincolnshire Co-op.

The science park will provide a focal point for world-class science research and technological innovation, with initial investment in the site totalling £14m. The 11-acre site is close to the University’s main Brayford Pool campus in the historic industrial heart of Lincoln.

Professor Mary Stuart, Vice Chancellor at the University of Lincoln, said:  “It is wonderful to see the new Joseph Banks Laboratories facilities being used by our students and academic colleagues. It represents another landmark in the expansion of science provision at the University of Lincoln. Like our award-winning School of Engineering, this development hinges on close partnership between the University and employers, designed to meet demand for highly skilled graduates in these important disciplines.”

The building features cutting-edge research facilities and excellent teaching resources across four storeys, covering 6,000 square metres. It includes laboratories, seminar and tutorial rooms and open plan social spaces. A pharmacy clinical skills suite, named the Maltby Suite, developed from a generous donation from the Maltby family, offers a specialist learning environment for pharmacy students to develop their professional skills.

There are specialist laboratories and research facilities for work in molecular biology, microbiology, tissue biology, bioacoustics and ancient DNA analysis, chemistry and medicinal chemistry, pharmacology and medicinal pharmacy.  Minster House will accommodate research in animal cognition, behaviour and welfare.

Professor Andrew Hunter, Pro Vice Chancellor and Head of the College of Science at the University of Lincoln, said: “These cutting-edge research and teaching facilities will enable Lincoln to continue to attract excellent students and scientists from the UK and overseas. Lincolnshire has a long and illustrious heritage in science and engineering. Through the expansion of our science portfolio and infrastructure we aim to produce new generations to follow in those footsteps. The University of Lincoln is now one of the few UK institutions to offer undergraduate courses across all the core sciences.”

The creation of the School of Pharmacy and the School of Chemistry has been supported by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and a range of regional and national employers. Next year the University opens its new School of Mathematics & Physics.

The Lincolnshire Co-op, which runs community pharmacies across the county of Lincolnshire, has been instrumental in creating the School of Pharmacy, the Joseph Banks Laboratories and Lincoln Science and Innovation Park. Students will have access to placements during their studies in pharmacies across the county and beyond.

Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Co-op Ursula Lidbetter said: “It is exciting that students are now using this great new facility to learn and begin the next stages of their careers. This is a great example of how local business working together with the University offers a mutual benefit to everyone involved.
“Practical input and advice from our pharmacy colleagues will enhance the course for students and in return, the School of Pharmacy will offer continuous professional development for our pharmacists and a steady stream of quality graduates who could begin a career with us.”

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