About the ABCRF
The Analytical and Biological Chemistry Research Facility was funded under PRTLI3 and therefore commenced as a research grouping in 2003. The ABCRF brought together for the first time the research teams in Chemistry and Biochemistry working in areas of research relevant to the pharmaceutical sector, albeit with the various research teams located in a number of different locations across the campus. Over 2003-2005, design and construction of the dedicated research labs and infrastructure was undertaken.
In 2006, the Cavanagh Pharmacy Building (CPB) was opened, and the ABCRF moved into this building together with the new School of Pharmacy, thereby creating a state-of-the-art centre for research in the pharmaceutical sciences at University College Cork. The ABCRF occupies 1200m2 in the CPB (ca. €5.2M capital investment), consisting of research laboratories for Biochemistry, Analytical and BioAnalytical Chemistry and Synthetic (Organic, Medicinal, Pharmaceutical, BioInorganic) Chemistry, and instrument rooms for large infrastructural equipment (LC-MS and NMR in basement, PXRD and single crystal X-ray diffraction in a dedicated Solid State Pharmaceuticals lab on the 2nd floor) and associated office and write-up space. A strategic decision was made at the outset of the building design to co-locate the ABCRF Biochemistry lab in the 1st floor with the Drug Delivery and Pharmaceutics research teams of the School of Pharmacy, and to co-locate the ABCRF Chemistry labs with the Pharmaceutical Chemistry research teams of the School of Pharmacy on the 2nd floor of the CPB, with shared central facilities such as cold rooms, utility areas, board room etc to encourage interaction and collaboration between the ABCRF and SOP researchers. As the ABCRF researchers are mainly based in the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science, while the School of Pharmacy is in the College of Medicine and Health, the CPB is one of the major buildings at the interface between the two Colleges.
Extensive collaboration exists between the various locations in terms of equipment and resources. The CPB also contains a number of facilities relating to interaction with the pharmaceutical industry – an industrial suite (120m2 ), an aseptic suite and a processing suite, critical to the mission of the ABCRF in interacting with the sector. Access to these key resources to underpin collaboration with industry is one of the outstanding features of the ABCRF; indeed when Pfizer commenced the Process Development Centre in Cork in 2003 they occupied labs in UCC for the first year until their own facilities were constructed. More recently GSK researchers have occupied the industry suite.