Memorandum from Professor Moncada, Wolfson
1. The idea to move the NIMR to a central
London university hospital location and emphasise its activities
towards translational research is excellent if, we define translational
activities as those that take the results of research from the
bench into clinical practice.
2. A great deal of research activity in
the post-genomic era is related to the identification of biologically
significant proteins, their interactions in the generation of
biological activities (ie molecular physiology) and their malfunction
(molecular pathophysiology). The direct corollary of these activities
is the investigation of ways in which those interactions can be
modified to develop new therapeutic tools. In this sense it is
almost impossible to separate what is fundamental from what is
applied research, a separation of activities which has been fashionable
until recently. In this context it is not self-evident, and has
never been true in practice, that the thinking about practical
endpoints decreases the quality of scientific research.
3. An example of this is our own Wolfson
Institute for Biomedical Research at University College London
in which basic and applied aspects coexist in a synergistic environment
in which medicinal chemistry complements biological research.
Chemicals made to probe molecular mechanisms are likely to be
candidates for future drug prototypes. All this could be carried
out very close to, or within, a hospital environment to increase
the efficiency of the movement from the generation of knowledge
to its application.