Imperial College London has announced a gift of £10 million ($13.1 million) from Hugh and Josseline Langmuir in support of pioneering research into the causes, mechanisms, and treatment of myeloma.
With the goal of advancing scientific discoveries and accelerating their translation into clinical solutions, the gift will establish the Hugh & Josseline Langmuir Centre for Myeloma Research on the college's Hammersmith Hospital campus. Funds from the gift will be used to provide cutting-edge facilities, equipment, and collaboration space for researchers and clinicians and support efforts to recruit, train, and support talented researchers from around the world. Through its proximity to the college's White City campus in West London, which co-locates academics, global companies, and emerging businesses, the center will also drive collaborations with researchers, multidisciplinary groups, and startups in other fields, including genomics, bioinformatics, and drug discovery.
Myeloma, a type of blood cancer that develops in plasma cells, affecting the bones, kidneys, and immune system, currently is incurable. Imperial's Centre for Haematology was one of the first hospital teams in Europe to perform a stem cell transplant using donor cells and the first in Europe to perform a successful unrelated donor bone marrow transplant for aplastic anemia and chronic myeloid leukemia.
"Our researchers are making ground-breaking advances in our understanding of disease, identifying new drug targets, optimizing immune-based therapies and working tirelessly to take new therapies through to clinical trials for patient benefit," said Jane Apperley, chair of the college's Department of Haematology. "Despite our successes, there is still so much more we want — and need — to achieve in order to better treat myeloma and other blood disorders. This incredibly generous donation will allow us to harness and focus our strengths to realize this ambitious vision."
"We have been hugely impressed by the skill and dedication of Imperial's medical staff and by the quality of research being conducted at the Hammersmith Haematology Unit," said Hugh Langmuir. "With the increased resources made possible by this donation, we hope to assist the team in their important work of furthering our understanding of this disease and developing new and more effective treatments."
(Photo credit: Shutterstock/David Litman)