Memorandum from Professor Amanda Fisher,
Clinical Sciences Centre, Hammersmith Hospital
My name is Amanda Fisher and I am an MRC employee
(of > 10 years) and leader of a research team based at the
Clinical Sciences Centre at the Hammersmith Hospital site in London.
I am writing to express my concerns about the decision-making
process behind proposals to relocate the NIMR.
First I would like to say that over the last
15 years the NIMR has made truly outstanding contributions within
the area of Life Sciences that underpin human health. It certainly
rates among the top three institutes in the UK. This contribution
is also evidenced by the fact that many former NIMR staff now
head leading initiatives throughout the world. Example include
Professors Rob Krumlauf (head of the Stowers Institute, USA),
Jim Smith (head of the Gurdon Institute, Cambridge) and Frank
Grosveld (Erasmus University, Rotterdam). Furthermore, successive
peer reviews have consistently commended the NIMR for the exceptional
quality and innovation of its multi-disciplinary research program.
Despite this, NIMR has come under increasing
pressure to relocate. I have seen very little rational evidence
to justify the moveon either financial or strategic grounds.
On the contrary, there are a number of reasons why it might be
more prudent for NIMR to be restructured on its present site.
One of these is the flexibility the Mill Hill site offersparticularly
the option to expand (or contract) animal-based or nuclear magnetic
resonance-based work, according to need. The present NIMR site
is close to central London but unconstrained in terms of space.
This offers an ideal opportunity for expansion over the next 20-30
years. I am dismayed that this option has not been fully explored
by the task force. Personally I am still waiting to hear a coherent
or persuasive argument for the relocation of NIMR.
I hope that these comments are useful.
23 November 2004