The UCL Institute of Immunity and Transplantation (IIT) has been established at the Royal Free Hospital to bring together world-leading academic research and innovative NHS patient care. The goal of the IIT is to be an international centre of excellence for patient-focused research to improve human health.

The detailed study of the human immune system will lead to the development of new forms of immunotherapies that will benefit transplant patients and patients suffering from cancer, chronic infection (e.g. HIV and viral hepatitis) and auto-immune diseases such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis and scleroderma.

The Pears Building

Since 2013 the IIT has successfully operated in limited space within the Royal Free Hospital. The success of the initial phase of the IIT was the basis for substantial government funding to expand research and clinical activities and establish an internationally leading centre in a modern new building. The IIT will be based in the Pears Building which is named in recognition of the generous donation from Pears Foundation. The construction of the Pears Building will be completed in 2020.

Designed by the internationally recognised Hopkins Architects, the new facilities will provide over 6,000m² of the best possible infrastructure for research, training and clinical care. There will be state-of-the-art laboratories, modern equipment and patient accommodation. The Pears Building will also house the Royal Free Charity and the Volunteering Team which is also managed by the charity.

Creating better healthcare

Patients will have access to research studies designed to understand how malfunction of their immune system can cause disease. This understanding will translate into new types of therapies that can correct the underlying immune malfunction and enable patients’ recovery.

Key areas of treatment that are currently being investigated are:

  • immunotherapy for cancer, leukaemia and lymphoma
  • stem cell therapy and gene therapy of inherited defects of the immune system
  • new immunological therapies for diabetes, scleroderma and multiple sclerosis
  • immunotherapy and vaccination for HIV, viral hepatitis, CMV – a type of herpes virus which causes lifelong infection
  • novel therapies for lysosomal storage diseases such as Fabry and Gaucher’s disease

For further details about the research strategy go to the IIT website

Read the latest Pears Building newsletter.

Further information and contact details are available on the Pears Building construction works.

Raising the funds for IIT

The Royal Free Charity, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and UCL are working together to bring to fruition this new research building to further strengthen disease-focused translational research at the Royal Free.

Most of the £60m required for this project have been raised, but we are still seeking philanthropic support to meet the cost of the new facilities and the research teams within the Institute.

If you would like further information or would like to discuss how you could support our project, please contact:

Philippa Hutchinson 
Interim head of communications
E: [email protected]