Diamond Light Source becomes newest member of The Franklin

Diamond Light Source has been welcomed as the twelfth member of The Rosalind Franklin Institute (The Franklin), close neighbours on Harwell Campus. The vision of The Franklin is to develop technologies which advance the reach of biological imaging, making tools which are more powerful, more capable, and more accessible, for both industry and academia.

Leaders in Life Science

Diamond CEO Professor Andrew Harrison at the Rosalind Franklin Institute Board meeting, with Franklin Chair Dr Vivienne Cox
Diamond CEO Professor Andrew Harrison at the Rosalind Franklin Institute Board meeting, with Franklin Chair Dr Vivienne Cox


Diamond is the UK’s national synchrotron, and home to eBIC and ePSIC, national electron imaging centres in life and physical science, while projects underway at The Franklin cover biological mass spectrometry, structural biology, electron imaging, next generation chemistry, and imaging with sound and light. Both are leaders in world changing life sciences research.

Diamond and The Franklin already have close partnerships in structural biology and electron imaging. Scientists from both organisations are working together with Thermo Fisher Scientific in developing tools in large volume tomography, on sample preparation and delivery for electron microscopy with Protein Production UK, and on data analysis and machine vision.

Professor Andrew Harrison, Chief Executive at Diamond Light Source said:

Diamond serves as an agent of change for 21st century global challenges. In order to provide the best possible facilities for the UK and our international community, we must commit to the development of the next generation of tools and techniques. Membership of The Rosalind Franklin Institute represents that commitment. The collaboration between Diamond and The Franklin has been inspiring and is essential to deliver our ambitious plans in these areas.

Membership of The Franklin means Diamond will more deeply collaborate in world-changing biomedical research across the portfolio not only at the hub, but also with The Franklin’s member universities, who are essential components of The Franklin’s push to discover world leading technologies. Diamond will join the group of member representatives who advise on the strategic direction of The Franklin.

Harwell partnerships

Diamond’s membership further strengthens links at the Harwell Campus, and research programmes are taking place in partnership with fellow member STFC and with the Research Complex at Harwell. The Franklin hub building is well underway and will house 150 researchers working on a range of projects and technologies when it opens in early 2021.

Dr Gillian Burgess, VP, External Innovation at Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Director and Trustee of the Rosalind Franklin Institute said:

Diamond is one of the most productive centres for structural biology in the world, and the Franklin is charged with developing technologies which will advance the state-of-the-art in biological imaging. Together, The Franklin and Diamond are hugely important to the pharmaceutical industry, as well as to the academic community in the UK. The ability to perform the sort of experiments which the new technologies under development offer will transform the way we design drugs and understand human health.