The Royal Free Charity led the £60million project to deliver the Pears Building, the home of the UCL Institute of Immunity and Transplantation (IIT), one of the largest patient-focused immunology centres in Europe.

A unique partnership

The Pears Building is the result of a unique partnership between philanthropy, science and medicine to create an ultra-modern, research facility. It allows research and medicine to work side-by-side, developing treatments and cures for some of the most devastating diseases of the immune system.

The design of the iconic building has collaboration and communication at its heart – bringing scientist, clinician and patient closer to speed up the journey of laboratory insight to patient treatment.

You can find out more about the life-saving and life-changing work of the IIT on their website

What it does

• One of a handful of such research facilities in the world and one of the largest in Europe

• Leading research into better treatments and potential cures for cancer, diabetes, HIV and tuberculosis

• Speeding up the pathway from laboratory bench to bedside – and back again

• Patients helping to design and evaluate research studies

• Communication with the local and wider community a priority

• A café open to the public means world-beating research will happen literally above the heads of anyone who cares to walk in

• Patient accommodation on site offering stunning views across Hampstead Heath and central London

Take a look around

Click to enlarge. All photos March 2021 © Janie Airey

Hear from our partners

Professor Hans Stauss, director, UCL Institute of Immunity and Transplantation (IIT)

Caroline Clarke, chief executive of the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Jon Spiers, chief executive of the Royal Free Charity

“In the Pears Building, we have a world class laboratory research facility and a beautiful space,” said Professor Hans Stauss, director of the IIT.  “It is designed to facilitate a unique partnership between scientist and clinician. It will enable us to convert discoveries made in the laboratory into cures and treatments more quickly.”

“This expansion of the IIT will enable many more of our patients to take part in ground-breaking trials,” said Caroline Clarke, chief executive of the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. “The important work that will go on in the Pears Building will contribute not only to the health and wellbeing of our local community but also be a world-leading centre for understanding the human immune system.”

“None of this would have been possible without the incredible generosity of visionary philanthropists, including the Pears Foundation, who have supported this initiative from the outset,” said Jon Spiers, chief executive of the Royal Free Charity.

Part of the community

The Pears Building includes a café open to the public and with capacity to hold regular events, providing opportunities for the local and wider community to interact with the scientists leading this important research into the human immune system. 

The local community will have opportunities to take part in the creation of a bespoke work of art commissioned jointly by UCL and the Royal Free Charity.

Contact and media

We are happy to help you with any enquiries you have about what we’re up to, or to provide contacts for any of our partners in this project.

Please email: [email protected] and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. Sign up for our monthly email newsletter to keep up-to-date with the latest news from the charity and the Pears Building.




UCL Institute of Immunity and Transplantation brochure: a window into a world of research

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Pears Building archive

During the construction of the Pears Building, we kept in touch with the local community with a regular newsletter. You can find them here.

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Press release

Read our press release for the launch of the Pears Building in October 2021

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