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Roslin Institute

Located on the Edinburgh BioCampus at Easter Bush, a half-mile (1 km) west southwest of Bilston in Midlothian, the Roslin Institute is a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) funded research institute operating within the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. The Institute undertakes research focused on the health and welfare of animals, on medical science, veterinary science, food security and the sustainability of the livestock sector. Expertise includes areas such as immunology and infectious diseases, genetics and genomics, developmental biology and diseases affecting the nervous system, although the Roslin Institute is best known for producing Dolly The Sheep, cloned by a team led by Prof. Ian Wilmut in 1996. The Institute's research complements the teaching and clinical activities within the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

The Institute moved from its original site a quarter-mile (0.4 km) north of the village of Roslin (from which it takes its name) to a £60.6 million state-of-the-art building at Easter Bush, which was opened by First Minister Alex Salmond on the 29th June 2011. This three-storey building extends to 14,000 sq. m (150,695 sq. feet). Laboratories on the north side of the building are separated from open-plan offices by break-out areas, which are designed to encourage collaboration between scientists. The building includes an auditorium for conferences and seminars, and accommodates 500 scientists working for the University and Scotland's Rural College.

The Roslin Institute has its roots in the Institute of Animal Genetics (IAG), created by the University of Edinburgh in 1919. In 1947, the Agricultural Research Council founded a series of publicly-funded research organisations aimed at increasing the efficiency of British farming and produce more food at a time of national shortage and rationing. In Scotland, the IAG was formed into two new organisations, the Poultry Research Centre (PRC) and the Animal Breeding Research Organisation (ABRO). Following a review, ABRO and PRC were merged in 1986 with the Cambridge-based Institute of Animal Physiology to form the Institute of Animal Physiology and Genetics Research (IAPGR). This Institute's Scottish operations were centralised at Roslin.

The geographically-disparate units separated in 1993 and the Roslin Institute was formed as an independent, but wholly owned, unit of the BBSRC. Two years later the Roslin Institute became an independent company, with charitable status. In 2007, the Roslin Institute was merged with the Neuropathogenesis Unit (formerly of the Institute for Animal Health) and, a year later, the combined organisation became a part of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies of the University of Edinburgh. This brought the Roslin Institute back into the University which had founded its predecessor ninety years previously.

The Roslin BioCentre remains on the original site 1½ miles (2.5 km) to the east at Roslin, run by the Roslin Foundation.


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