Cancer Research UK


DNA inspires SomeOne’s 7ft London Sculptures.

Cancer Research UK are building a brand new research facility at the heart of London, that will help us to beat cancer sooner.

The Francis Crick Institute is a visionary collaboration between six of the world’s leading medical research organisations, including Cancer Research UK, and Cancer Research UK are helping to create an exciting new centre of research in London’s Kings Cross.

Cancer Research UK believes that, with the best facilities and the best scientific minds, they will learn more about what makes cancer start, spread and develop. The Francis Crick Institute scientists will help unravel the mysteries behind cancer and other diseases, ultimately improving the lives of patients across the world.

Cancer Research UK’s is now running a campaign to raise funds to complete the construction.

To help them finish the fundraising so that Crick scientists can move in and start working to find future cures from 2016. There are a number of initiatives underway, the latest of which is a free DNA art trail in London.

From Monday 29th of June Central London will host over 20 sculptures inspired by the DNA double helix designed by London design practice SomeOne. Some of the biggest names in the art world have taken these base sculptures and created unique designs upon them to show London what’s in their DNA.

These delicate twists of information are very important. And only now are we learning the true impact of Crick’s work.

Francis Crick was an astonishing scientist, and is best known for his work with James Watson which led to the discovery of DNA in 1953. When working to develop a series of sculptures to be customised by some of the worlds leading creatives we considered many different kinds of form, but we kept on coming back to the DNA spiral. The outcome is accurately based on the DNA structure, in fact we ‘clothed’ the molecular construction to develop larger surface areas that would be more adept at taking on the artists ideas.


Each sculpture is 7ft high and together they form a trail across London that is designed for people to follow.

All the sculptures will then be auctioned later this year to raise money for the Francis Crick Institute, Europe’s largest biomedical centre of research that will help us beat cancer sooner.

Biomedical Centre in Europe

Max Longstaff, Lead designer at SomeOne on the project talks about the process of designing the sculpture:

“We were briefed by scientists who helped explain the complexities and subtleties of the DNA structure. The human body is made up of trillions of cells. Each one of these is packed with long, delicate strands of DNA which provides the hardwired operating instructions (or genes) for everything that cell will ever need to do. We translated these incredible natural designs into a series of rapid prototype prints—ranging from the more literal to the lateral.”

Click here to read the article that was published on Design Week showing all the designer sculptures.

The 21 sculptures raised over £360,000.

About The Francis Crick Institute

The Francis Crick Institute is a biomedical discovery institute dedicated to understanding the scientific mechanisms of living things. Its work is helping to understand why disease develops and to find new ways to treat, diagnose and prevent illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, infections, and neurodegenerative diseases.

By bringing together scientists from many disciplines, the Crick will help to improve people’s lives and keep the UK at the forefront of innovation in medical research, attracting high-value investment and strengthening the economy.

The Francis Crick Institute is a consortium of six of the UK’s most successful scientific and academic organisations – the Medical Research Council (MRC), Cancer Research UK (CRUK), the Wellcome Trust, UCL (University College London), Imperial College London and King’s College London.

By combining specialist knowledge, expertise and resources from each of these organisations, the Francis Crick Institute undertakes ground-breaking research across a range of scientific disciplines and helps laboratory discoveries to be turned into treatments as quickly as possible.

The Francis Crick Institute is a registered charity. Overall responsibility for setting the strategic direction of the institute lies with its Board. An Executive Management Team led by Sir Paul Nurse is responsible for leading the organisation and implementing its scientific vision and research strategy.

The organisations in the consortium have invested a total of around £650 million to establish the institute and to ensure that it is resourced to make a major impact.

The MRC’s National Institute for Medical Research and CRUK’s London Research Institute (at Lincoln’s Inn Fields and Clare Hall) became part of the Francis Crick Institute on 1 April 2015 but will remain at their existing locations until they move into the new laboratory building at St Pancras in early 2016.

When it is fully operational in early 2016, the Francis Crick Institute will employ 1500 staff, including 1250 scientists, and have an operating budget of over £100 million a year.

The Crick will be Europe’s largest biomedical centre with one task—wipe out the biggest diseases on the planet.

Max LongstaffLead designer, SomeOne