As one of the UK's centrepieces of our future test and trace infrastructure, the UK's largest publicly-owned diagnostic testing laboratory is open in Royal Leamington Spa.
The UK’s largest diagnostic testing facility, the Rosalind Franklin Laboratory in Royal Leamington Spa, will process and sequence thousands of COVID-19 samples a week and play an indispensable role in responding to new variants of concern and future disease threats.
Who is Rosalind Franklin
The state-of-the-art laboratory is named after English chemist, Rosalind Franklin, in recognition of her pioneering research into viruses, DNA and RNA, which remain of lasting benefit to the world. Her work, and her collaborators’ work, enabled researchers to develop technological advancements including RNA sequencing, now a major tool in our continued effort against COVID-19 and Variants of Concern.
Battle against the pandemic
The Rosalind Franklin Laboratory utilises cutting-edge technology to process even more tests and adopt the pioneering new genotype assay testing to quickly identify Variants of Concern and new mutations. This will help the UK’s disease detectives take action to supress outbreaks as society reopens, using tools such as surge testing.
Creating new opportunities
The laboratory aims to create and upskill scientists with a programme of training and, with close links to universities, inspiring a new generation to choose a career in STEM. The laboratory will create up to 1,500 jobs with around 60% of staff traveling in from within 30 miles of the site.
Under the leadership of former deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jenny Harries, the UKHSA’s top priority is managing the spread of COVID-19 as restrictions ease, and building the UK’s capabilities to ensure we are prepared against other potential future threats.
Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, on the Rosalind Franklin Laboratory
"The UK Health Security Agency is going to put us at the forefront of the global battle against COVID-19 and help us stay a step ahead of new and emerging future threats.
Trailblazing technologies are going to be pivotal to delivering on this bold ambition and I’m delighted that today we are bolstering our capabilities in testing and genomic sequencing with the opening of the Rosalind Franklin Laboratory.
This laboratory will be one of the centrepieces of our efforts to manage this virus in the future, processing hundreds of thousands of positive COVID-19 tests a day to help us stop cases becoming outbreaks.
Testing has already been instrumental in helping us control the virus and it is going to be essential to continue to protect ourselves and our communities in the months ahead. I’d urge everyone to take up our offer of free, twice weekly rapid testing."