Science for Health
The Medical Research Council was established in 1913 as the Medical Research Committee. One of the first decisions of the Medical Research Committee was that a central institute in London was essential, and the MRC National Institute for Medical Research was founded in 1913 as the first Institute of the Medical Research Council.
Premises at Hampstead were acquired but the outbreak of war in 1914 postponed occupation of the building, although senior staff were appointed and began work. The Hampstead premises, at Mount Vernon Hospital, were occupied in 1920, and the Institute subsequently moved to its current location at Mill Hill in 1950. The building at Mill Hill was designed by Maxwell Ayrton, also the architect of nearby Wembley Stadium, and construction began in 1937. When war broke out in 1939 the uncompleted building was handed over to the Women's Royal Naval Service. After the war it was handed back to the scientists in the autumn of 1949. Sir Henry Dale, the first Director of the Institute, retired in 1942 and so was never Director on the Mill Hill site.
The official opening ceremony took place on the 5th of May 1950, when their Majesties King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited Mill Hill. This occasion was the culmination of the efforts of many people, including Sir Henry Dale, who was involved in the planning stages of the new Institute.
In the fifty years which have elapsed since that grand opening, scientists at the Institute have made major and seminal contributions in biomedical science fulfilling the expectations of the second Director, Sir Charles Harington, (expressed in a Linacre Lecture in Cambridge in 1958) that as the body of scientific knowledge increased, so the necessity for team working and cross-disciplinary interactions, facilitated as they are by a multidisciplinary Institute, would increase.
The success and scientific achievements of the Institute have continued to the present, leveraged by the collaborative, multidisciplinary nature of research at the Institute.
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