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17 Sep 2014

The Gardner Ratcliffe Building – Official Opening Ceremony

Opening ceremony September 2014

On Wednesday 17th September, leading British custom peptide and antibody provider Cambridge Research Biochemicals welcomed guests to ‘the Gardner Ratcliffe Building’ for its prestigious Official Opening Ceremony. The brand new state of the art facility which spans over 10,000 square feet, was purchased in late 2013, completely refurbished and equipped with laboratory and office space as part of CRB’s £1M investment programme. This was supported in part by a keenly contested ‘Let’s Grow’ grant worth £65,000 to help fund R&D projects that create or safeguard jobs in the North East of England. The building, which also houses a brand new cell culture suite, was officially named after two long standing and highly esteemed collaborators, Dr Steven J. Ratcliffe of GlaxoSmithKline and Dr Joseph P. Gardner of Pfizer.

The action packed day featured a ribbon cutting and plaque unveiling ceremony, in addition to an illuminating talk by Professor Gillian Griffiths, the Director of the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, which is based at the Addenbrooke’s Hospital site in Cambridge. The Institute has a demonstrated record of translating basic research into successful clinical application and houses many long standing CRB customers.

Guests then enjoyed a tour of the peptide and immunology laboratories featuring demonstrations of key techniques performed by the in-house team of highly skilled chemists and biologists. A welcome introduction was given by CRB’s Commercial and Operations Directors Emily Humphrys and Alison White respectively. This was followed by a presentation by Technical Manager Dr Laurent Caron, which provided the guests with an overview of peptide chemistry. To complete the day, guests were served a sumptuous afternoon tea at the delightful Crathorne Hall in North Yorkshire.

Guests of honour Dr Joseph Gardner and Dr Steven Ratcliffe have been enduring and revered collaborators with CRB on peptide and antibody tools since the Company was first taken over by co-directors Emily Humphrys and Alison White. Dr Ratcliffe, a peptide expert currently leads the Molecular Tools Group at GSK, a unit focussed principally on the design and synthesis of labelled compounds for assay development and target validation. Dr Ratcliffe has been recognised many times within GSK for his diverse expertise and is an established committee member of the Peptide Protein Science Group (PPSG) of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Dr Gardner joined Pfizer in 1986 and is a recognised expert in Biacore and SPR technology, has authored numerous publications and led Pfizer’s first Centre of Emphasis for Antibody Development and Characterisation in 2003.

“The Official Opening of the Gardner Ratcliffe building was a fantastic opportunity to welcome guests to our new facility and showcase our talents for generation of top quality research tools including custom peptides and bespoke antibodies” commented Operations Director of CRB, Alison White.

“We were privileged to welcome Drs Steven Ratcliffe and Joseph Gardner to the building and to hear from Professor Gillian Griffiths on the success of CRB’s antibodies in her research over the years. The event was a huge success and we look forward to spending many fruitful and productive years in our new facility.” enthused Emily Humphrys, CRB’s Commercial Director.

CRB has been located at the Belasis Hall Technology Park in Billingham since 2001 and has steadily built up its reputation as a global player in the life science industry.


The Ribbon Cutting photo features the following people: L to R:Emily Humphrys (Commercial Director, CRB), Dr Joseph Gardner (Pfizer R&D), Professor Gillian Griffiths (Director, Cambridge Institute of Medical Research (CIMR)), Dr Steven Ratcliffe (GlaxoSmithKline R&D) and Alison White (Operations Director, CRB)


The peptide tour was led by Dr Laurent Caron (Technical Manager, CRB).