A large research complex in London with hundreds of laboratories and a grand entrance. The facility utilised animal testing to develop medical treatments.
Founded in 1913, the Medical Research Council was established to set up a central research institute in London. They acquired premises at Hampstead’s Mount Vernon Hospital and formed the National Institute for Medical Research. They remained there until a decision was made in the 1930s to relocate to new premises. An imposing copper-roofed building at Mill Hill was designed by Maxwell Ayrton, and construction began in 1937.
NIMR finally moved after the war into the new premises in 1949. Under the leadership of Sir Charles Harington, achievements included the development of gas chromatography and the discovery of interferon. Sir Arnold Burgen took over in 1971 who had an interest in nuclear magnetic resonance techniques and formed the MRC Biomedical NMR Centre at the Institute in 1980.
In 2003, as part of their Forward Investment Strategy, the MRC announced plans to consider moving NIMR from its current location to a university/medical school site, to enhance its ability “to translate its biomedical research into practical health outcomes.” The construction of the new NIMR facility began in July 2011. The new centre is to be called the Francis Crick Institute. The buildings at Mill Hill were demolished in 2018.