Institute of Developmental Sciences

Exterior view of IDS building The Institute of Developmental Sciences (IDS) builds on the University's international strengths in understanding how our genes interact with the environments to influence our susceptibility to common diseases such as diabetes, allergy, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and some forms of cancer.

The IDS is home to over 100 research scientists not only from the Division of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease but also from Human Genetics and from the School of Biological Sciences. Facilities provided within the building include research laboratories, offices, teaching facilities, and an IT hot-desking area. By bringing the research and support staff together under one roof it will facilitate the collaborative research environment which is essential to modern medical research.

After a two year construction period under a design-and-build contract, the IDS was opened on 17 September 2007 by HRH The Princess Royal. The major funding for the building came from the University's capital development fund, but the project was made feasible by raising substantial funds from the Garfield Weston and Wolfson Foundations.

A four storey steel framed structure located on the site of the Southampton GeneralInterior writeup area of IDS building Hospital, the IDS adjoins the Summers Cancer Sciences Building (SCSB), with the two buildings having common exterior design elements. The two buildings are attached by means of a glass fronted "knuckle" which allows the IDS building to follow the site constraints. To ensure that the structure did not present a bland brick façade, the lowest storey was clad in white stone blocks to complement the white stone on the SCSB. Both buildings have a curved roof formed from a sandwich of corrugated metal with a filling of insulation.

The unconnected end of the new building was designed to easily allow a further extension building to be added. This is in line with the NHS Trust policy of designating the whole of the NW corner for the site for University research. The position of the IDS on the Southampton General Hospital site is ideal for interactions with clinical researchers in the Princess Anne Hospital and the Wessex Cardiac Unit, as well as positioning it close to the MRC Epidemiology Resource Centre and the Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility. This location also works well for the SCSB, whose staff aim to bring ideas and discoveries made in the laboratory into clinical practice as rapidly as possible, and ensure that the scientific hypotheses underlying cancer treatments are properly tested.