LSI Visit by the Retired Staff Association

Warm Welcome to Campus for University of Exeter Retired Staff Association

Members of the University of Exeter Retired Staff Association (UERSA) were recently given a warm welcome back to campus to view some of the latest developments. 

The visit was attended by 48 UERSA members comprising retired academics and professional services staff and spouses, who were particularly keen to learn more about the Living Systems Institute (LSI) Building and its brand new infrastructure to support interdisciplinary science research.

Guests were given guided tours of the new building, led by Catherine Wolfgang, LSI Manager, and Charlotte Leach, Senior Administrator, departing from the central Weston Exchange Hub. They were able to see first-hand the brand new labs that researchers are starting to occupy. The design of the labs incorporates the latest key technical requirements to support researchers in their work. It also combines features to help facilitate sharing the latest ideas - including the ‘write on walls’ - as well as providing a visual connection with colleagues through transparent glass walls connecting with the open spaces. With floor to ceiling windows offering natural light as well as beautiful views across campus, the new building is an appealing place to work.

There was even the opportunity for guests to view the space inside the intriguing cantilever part of the building. Thanks to the fine spring weather, a little time outdoors provided a breath of fresh air via the Carlota Palmer Terrace with its views across the Devon Hills. The outdoor space is named in honour of Carlota Palmer, a local Devon resident who gave a generous bequest to the University in support of science and maths. Her funding has also encouraged others to give to a scholarship via a matched funding scheme.

A special insight into the LSI plans and vision to support fundamental research was shared with guests by Associate Professors Steven West and Steffen Scholpp who have recently joined the LSI faculty to further build on their prestigious research in cell and molecular biology. They invited guests to join them for a presentation in the Philip Booth Seminar Room – named in honour of a friend to the University, Philip Booth, whose generous bequest was used to support the Living Systems Institute. Steven shared how he and the new faculty team were inspired to move to Exeter from around the world to be part of a truly international team to help develop cutting edge research directed by Prof Phil Ingham FRS, Director of the LSI. Prof Ingham’s research has developed from basic fundamental research which led to a breakthrough discovery and subsequent successful treatment for non-melanoma skin cancer. We expect the LSI to be fully staffed with its researchers by autumn 2017 and meanwhile, a virtual tour of the building can be enjoyed via the fly through here.  

Philanthropic funding for the LSI has been gratefully received from individuals and Trusts and Foundations (with particular thanks to the Wellcome Trust and the Garfield Weston Foundation).  Donations contribute towards the University’s ‘Making the Exceptional Happen’ Campaign which aims to raise £60 million for students and researchers.  We would like to thank the University of Exeter Retired Staff Association for the generous gesture to support the important work of the LSI and research too.  Further details on ways to support the University’s campaign can be found here.

If you would like to bring a group of friends to visit campus then do please contact the Alumni Office and we will be happy to discuss your interests

Date: 13 March 2017

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