When Simon Flavell died in 1990 his parents Drs David & Bee Flavell established a new laboratory with the sole intention of researching and developing new antibody-based treatments for patients with leukaemia and other related blood conditions. The new lab was a natural progression from their original monoclonal antibody laboratory that they had established earlier and was named in honour of Simon as a working and living memorial.
The Simon Flavell Leukaemia Research Unit has been the research flagship of Leukaemia Busters since when first opened by Gary and Michelle Lineker in 1993. A number of potentially important discoveries have been made there since. The laboratory based at Southampton General Hospital is part of the University of Southampton Medical School and originally served not only to undertake basic research to study ways of improving the efficiency with which antibodies kill leukaemia cells but also as a manufacturing facility for antibodies used in clinical trials with patients. At it’s peak the laboratory housed twelve members of research staff including PhD, MD and other students and several oncologists who have since taken up prominent positions elsewhere have passed through its doors during the course of their earlier careers.
After fourteen years of almost continual use the Simon Flavell Leukaemia Unit was in need of a refit to bring it up to the standards demanded by modern research and in 2007 a complete refurbishment was undertaken with a grant awarded to David & Bee Flavell by Leukaemia Busters. That refurbishment work is now complete and the new state-of-the-art Simon Flavell Leukaemia Research Laboratory awaits an intake of newly appointed scientists and technical staff to continue its important work in earnest.