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World-class IRR South building opened by The Princess Royal


Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, has opened the Institute for Regeneration and Repair South building (IRR South).

Rheumatoid arthritis, lung cancer and reproductive health issues are just some of the medical conditions being tackled by more than 500 scientists at the new £110m facility on Edinburgh BioQuarter.

The Chancellor unveiled a dedicated plaque to commemorate the building’s opening.

The new building along with the IRR North building is home to flagship centres carrying out research in inflammation, reproductive health and regenerative medicine, as well as a dedicated pandemic science hub.

At the opening event, the Chancellor met with students and staff, including Centre for Reproductive Health scientists who gave an overview of their inspiring work on fertility preservation after cancer, efforts to tackle heavy menstrual bleeding and pelvic pain caused by endometriosis.

Teams from the Centre for Inflammation Research outlined their research on shared biological processes behind conditions like arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and chronic lung disease.

The Chancellor and guests at the event also heard from Centre for Regenerative Medicine scientists who showcased their key work on stem cells and how the body repairs cell damage from ageing and injury.

The Princess Royal toured the IRR’s extensive open plan laboratories, including the innovative Chemistry Hub, designed to speed-up ‘chemistry to medicine’ research that translates laboratory findings to drug treatments more quickly.

IRR South is designed to allow modern science to flourish by fostering collaboration across different disciplines, and providing space for cutting edge research technologies. This new facility will encourage joined-up working and help scientists develop treatments to benefit health more rapidly.

Professor Stuart Forbes, Director of the University of Edinburgh’s Institute of Regeneration and Repair said: “This exceptional new building has been made possible by the tireless work of many colleagues, past and present, from across the Institute of Regeneration and Repair.

“I look forward to seeing the fruits of this investment and the advances in medicine that will be brought to life thanks to its students and staff.”

Professor Sir Peter Mathieson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh said: “The event highlighted the Institute’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of scientists and its important work with the local community, including a long-standing partnership with Castlebrae Community Campus.”



Castlebrae students took the opportunity to show a one-off wooden table that was designed and crafted by pupils, and takes pride of place in the new building’s boardroom.

Funding for IRR South – which was designed by global integrated design firm Stantec and built over six years by Balfour Beatty – came from the Medical Research Council, UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF), substantial philanthropy from Foundations, companies and private donors, and the Robert O Curle Charitable Trust.

The Chancellor also opened the adjacent £50m IRR North building (formerly the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine) in 2012.

Together IRR North and South house 1,000 staff and students.