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New Biology Lab funded by a graduate’s gift

Ian Tarr's generous gift provided the University with a high-quality bioinformatics laboratory enabling students to learn scripting skills and study big data.

Ian Tarr and his mother visit campus for the Biology lab opening
Ian Tarr and his mother visit campus for the Biology lab opening

July 2017 saw students and staff gather together for the official opening of a new Biology & Biochemistry lab, made possible by a generous donation from one of our graduates.

Ian Tarr (BSc Biochemistry 1982) brought his mum, his sister and his friend – fellow Biochemistry graduate Dr Ann Walker – back to campus during graduation week to see the Tarr Bioinformatics Laboratory in 4 South in action.

The laboratory opened in 2016 to teach programming skills, particularly for bioinformatics, to undergraduates and postgraduates predominantly in the Department of Biology & Biochemistry.

Dr Richard Hooley, founder of the Tarr Laboratory, said:

"We are extremely grateful to Ian for his generosity. It has allowed us to create a high-quality undergraduate space in the Department in which final year students can learn a range of scripting skills and undertake final year research projects that are computational. This is proving to be a popular option for students who recognise the importance and potential of researching big data."

Before he retired, Ian was Managing Director and founding partner of Current Drugs, the company responsible for developing IDdb, which is used by scientists and business leaders in pharmaceutical, biotechnology and related service companies worldwide.

In successfully developing IDdb and associated products, Ian turned Current Drugs from a small start-up company into one of the most successful ventures for the Current Science Group.

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