BioCity Scotland honours Sir James Black with naming of building

14 March 2012

BioCity Scotland officially named its chemistry building at Newhouse after Lanarkshire-born pharmacologist Sir James Black last month.

A plaque naming the chemistry building the Sir James Black Building was unveiled by Princess Anne.

Sir James Black OM FRS FRSE FRCP is hailed as one of the great Scottish scientists of the 20th Century. He was a Lanarkshire-born pharmacologist who spent his career both as an industrial researcher and as an academic at several universities. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1988 for work leading to the development of Propranolol, a beta-blocker used in the treatment for heart disease, and Cimetidine, a drug used to treat stomach ulcers.

Dr Glenn Crocker CEO BioCity Group; Malcolm Bateman CEO Roslin Biocentre; 
HRH Princess Anne and Dr Louis Nisbet chairman BioCity Scotland
Dr Glenn Crocker CEO BioCity Group; Malcolm Bateman CEO Roslin Biocentre;
HRH Princess Anne and Dr Louis Nisbet chairman BioCity Scotland

This naming ceremony comes just six weeks after the launch of BioCity Scotland, a joint venture between BioCity Nottingham and Roslin BioCentre. With over 130,000 sq ft of purpose-built laboratories and offices on the 23 acre site, new and growing life science companies now have a central base between Glasgow and Edinburgh capable of supporting pre-clinical drug discovery and development. In addition, there are administrative and conference facilities to provide support and networking capabilities for the client companies and other organisations in the sector.

Speaking ahead of the Royal visit, BioCity Scotland chairman Dr Louis Nisbet said: “Her Royal Highness has always shown a keen interest in the development and success of Scotland’s life sciences, poignantly illustrated by Sir James Black’s legacy. Scotland can rightly claim to be a major centre for life sciences and at the forefront of drug discovery and commercialisation.

"Through BioCity Scotland we are beginning to create a strong environment in which to build a critical mass of growing world-class firms driven by highly-skilled scientists and entrepreneurial business leaders.”

Roslin BioCentre CEO Malcolm Bateman’s own career followed the development of Cimetidine while working at Smith, Kline and French: “Sir James’ work had a profound impact on the early part of my career which involved seeing the new drug taken from lab to patient. It also gave me the opportunity, as part of an international management team, to build and run a greenfield site in the Bahamas where the raw chemical of the drug was produced. So I’m delighted that Sir James is being recognised here at BioCity Scotland.”

Also taking place on Monday 20th February will be the first BioCity Scotland Life Science Sector seminar in front of over 100 academics, entrepreneurs and healthcare practitioners. Chaired by Scott Johnstone, CEO, Scottish Life Sciences Association, the panel of speakers will address ‘What should be done to transform the environment for life sciences in Scotland?’

In April, BioCity Scotland will run the first BioEntrepreneur Boot Camp Scotland, a three-day intensive business development programme for pre-start and early-stage life sciences firms.

Further details can be found at


To top