The Royal Free Charity has been “handed the keys” of the Pears Building, the new home of the UCL Institute of Immunity and Transplantation (IIT), one of the largest patient-focused immunology centres in Europe. Over the coming weeks IIT and Royal Free Charity staff will move into their new home.

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, which will allow 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 £60 million building, which includes a generous donation from the Pears Foundation, has collaboration and communication at its heart – bringing scientist, clinician and patient closer to speed up the journey of laboratory insight to patient treatment.

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 will mean 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

Sneak peak

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 will include a café open to the public and 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. 

From the start of the three-year construction period, the local community has been kept informed about the important work that will be undertaken in the building in a series of newsletters which describe the researchers’ work in an accessible way.

Contact and media

We’d be 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 updates or use #PearsBuilding to keep up-to-date with the latest news.




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

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Pears Building updates

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Press release

Download the latest press release for the launch of the Pears Building

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