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HEFCE closed at the end of March 2018. The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.

Many of HEFCE's functions will be continued by the Office for Students, the new regulator of higher education in England, and Research England, the new council within UK Research and Innovation.

The HEFCE domain - - will continue to function until September 2018. At this point we will close the site entirely and all its information will only be available from the National Web Archive.


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It addresses two of the most pressing interlinked challenges facing biomedical research in the UK. It also helps to deliver the growing need for improved medicines, better healthcare, and economic growth in the life sciences.

This project will support the Target Discovery Institute, the first of two project phases that the centre will undertake.

The institute aims to realign interactions between academia and industry, to address the central problem of drug target discovery and validation. It will seek to bring together academic groups across biomedical and physical science, with technological platforms in genomic medicine, and industry.

This will help to ensure the best access to clinical material, in an environment that extends the ‘pre-competitive’ phase of drug development to share risks, defray expenses, and get the best output.

The institute will:

  • provide a centre with new and unique technical and analytical capacities
  • be fully aligned with the needs of industry for better molecular target identification
  • provide an optimal interface with well-characterised population datasets to inform clinical therapeutics.

Oxford University formally opened the centre on 3 May 2013, with the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon David Cameron MP, and Mr Li Ka Shing.

The funding is matched by the Li Ka Shing Foundation alongside contributions from pharmaceutical partners and charitable funding organisations.

Page last updated 26 February 2015