The Bob Champion Research & Education Building

A new medical research building is to be officially opened on the Norwich Research Park in late February this year. The building is to be named The Bob Champion Research & Education Building and will be operated by the University of East Anglia (UEA) in partnership with the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital. The Bob Champion Cancer Trust, which was set up after the Grand National winning jockey beat the disease, generously donated £750,000 to the project.


Photo: Pete Huggins


Facilities within the building include The Wolfson Research Wing, in which UEA medical research scientists will work, housing state-of-the-art laboratories and a unique bio-bank facility to store DNA and tissue samples. The wing will be home to leading research into prostate cancer currently being undertaken by Professor Colin Cooper and his team, as well as research into antibiotic resistance, musculo-skeletal disease and gastrointestinal diseases.


The building also houses facilities such as seminar rooms and ‘The Roy Snelling Lecture Theatre’, used for undergraduate and postgraduate education. The first floor of the building has facilities for training medical students in rooms reflecting the functions of operational hospital bays. In the centre of the building is ‘The Big C Atrium’, named for the Norfolk & Waveney cancer charity. The atrium is a place where both students and staff can meet, or grab a drink from the small café inside.



The Norfolk Bone and Joint Centre is also encompassed within the building. This area of research will be led by Professor Bill Fraser, who is undertaking nationally important work on osteoporosis. Action Arthritis and Norwich Town Close Estate Charity were major contributors towards this aspect of the building.


The Bob Champion Research & Education Building is important for the development and continuation of the world-class research which takes place at the University. Its position on the Norwich Research Park, standing across from the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital, means that not only can medical students benefit academically and clinically from the mix of expertise based in the facility, but that all research will now be closer to the other facilities within the Norwich Research Park, including the John Innes Centre and the Institute for Food Research.


The building will be officially opened by Mr Champion MBE, who has said “We’re very excited by the prospect of the work that will be carried out within the ‘Bob Champion Research & Education Building. The Trust is looking forward to working with UEA and in particular Professor Colin Cooper and his team – this is a great step forward for our research programmes.”


Our sincere thanks go to all donors who supported the development of the building and its facilities by giving to The Difference Campaign. The completion of the Bob Champion Research and Education Building marks a major achievement for the campaign as we continue to work towards our target of raising £50m in philanthropic support for UEA by 2016. As the new building comes into use over the coming months, we will see the true difference this support will make for UEA researchers and students alike who will benefit from this state-of-the-art facility.