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London 2012 anti-doping unit to transform into new research centre

Anti-doping facilities at the London 2012 Olympic Games will be transformed into a research centre to develop new drugs and treatments for patients as part of the Games' legacy.

Post Games, the MRC-NIHR Phenome Centre is expected to allow researchers to investigate a person's chemistry - or phenome patterns - typically made up of a person's genetics and lifestyle “rapidly” and on an “unprecedented scale”.

It is hoped the centre will lead to new discoveries to explain why one individual or population may be more susceptible to a disease than another.

“Our investment in this new Centre, the first of its kind, promises better targeted treatments for patients with a wide range of common diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and dementia,” said Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.

“Patients will benefit from faster and more accurate diagnosis and researchers will be able to develop new drugs and treatments as we understand more about the characteristics of diseases and new sub-types of diseases are discovered.”

Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, said the new centre will “revolutionise” the way in which a wide range of diseases are treated.

Funding for the MRC-NIHR Phenome Centre will come from investments of £5m each from the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Department of Health's National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) over five years.