AstraZeneca in Cambridge

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The Discovery Centre (DISC)

A state-of-the-art global R&D facility located in the heart of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

Cambridge, one of the most exciting bioscience hotspots in the world, is home to the largest UK research and development centre – The DISC. Here more than 2,300 scientists work in drug discovery and development, across our therapy areas, each playing a central role in our mission to deliver life-changing medicines to patients. The DISC is uniquely designed to strengthen collaboration, promote openness, and improve the sustainability of every aspect of our science and our business operations.

We are at an exciting moment, as remarkable science and collaboration provide new opportunities to translate early discovery into meaningful medicines that can slow or even stop disease progression, prevent or even potentially cure disease. I look forward to the next chapter in BioPharmaceuticals, as we continue to push the boundaries of science and innovation to deliver life-changing medicines for use by patients across the world.

Sharon Barr Executive Vice-President, BioPharmaceuticals R&D, AstraZeneca

Science in Pictures

Celebrating science and the power of what science can do.

STEM community art project

We commissioned a giant art installation inspired by science, which was created by the People’s Picture in collaboration with our STEM community. It celebrates and recognises the role and impact of science through the medium of art and design.

The giant mosaic is an artistic interpretation of the building, DISC, the UK’s largest research and development centre. It is composed of over 8,000 pictures and 1,000 original images created by young people who attended inspirational science sessions in schools and community events hosted with our STEM partners.

Designing the future of R&D

The DISC represents our belief in what science can do. It enables scientists to discover new medicines more efficiently and deliver them more effectively, harnessing the power of data and artificial intelligence, digital technologies and novel precision medicine approaches.

Here, as in all our research efforts worldwide, we’ll be striving to enhance our understanding of disease biology, discover new ways to target drivers of disease, better predict clinical success, and pioneer new approaches to engagement in the clinic.

Our Cambridge culture

Located in the heart of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus we are surrounded by scientific institutions, academia and world-leading hospitals. We believe that interaction, collaboration and an entrepreneurial approach are vital for accelerating science and re-imagining healthcare. ​


  • Collaboration and working in partnership across academia, biotech, and industry is key to advancing scientific innovation to transform healthcare and improve outcomes for patients.
  • The power of our physical proximity to our Cambridge neighbours creates unusual interfaces in a porous environment where talent can be shared, not siloed. 


  • Through our STEM programmes, we aim to inspire the next generation, exciting them about science and the wide range of opportunities available in our industry. 
  • We aim to show that science can be for everyone, growing the aspirations of young people.  


  • Our culture is inclusive, inventive, freed from the fear of failure.
  • We ask big questions, make brave decisions and dig deep into the biology of complex disease.

By working with our neighbours and driving a convergence of innovation, collaboration and talent from the heart of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus and beyond, we continue to develop our culture and accelerate the science in our key therapy areas of Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, Respiratory & Immunology and rare diseases.

Susan Galbraith Executive Vice-President, Oncology R&D, AstraZeneca

We believe that interaction, collaboration and an entrepreneurial approach are vital for accelerating science and re-imagining healthcare.

Mene Pangalos Executive Vice-President, BioPharmaceuticals R&D, AstraZeneca (retiring, announced 28 July 2023)

A sustainable future

We are dedicated to making our science and our business sustainable. The DISC exemplifies this in every aspect of what we do – helping to protect the environment by how we operate our labs and discover, develop and produce our medicines.

Environmental sustainability formed the design principles of The DISC, focusing on increasing energy efficiency and working with the natural environment with an aim to reduce heating and lighting consumption by over 40%. The DISC has been awarded an excellent rating by BREEAM, the world’s leading sustainability assessment for building projects. Our scientists are working in a building that follows best practice in low energy design and construction, in support of our path to deliver Ambition Zero Carbon. This will help us to achieve our Company target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our global operations (Scope 1 and 2) by 98% by 2026.