A "centre of excellence" for plastic and reconstructive surgery is to be established at the Royal Free Hospital in memory of those who died or were maimed in the 7/7 bombings.

Fifty two people died and more than 770 were injured three years ago, after a co-ordinated attack by four suicide bombers on three Underground trains and one bus in central London.

Some of the victims disfigured in the attacks were treated at the world-renowned plastics and reconstruction unit in the Royal Free Hospital, in Pond Street, Hampstead, which serves patients from the borough of Barnet.

Professor Peter Butler, joint head of surgery, anaesthesia and critical care at the Royal Free, revealed plans for the centre on Monday, on the anniversary of the attacks. Alongside him was his former tutor, Professor James May, of Harvard University.

Mr Butler said: "Plastic and reconstructive surgery is increasingly important in a world when the risks of modern life, whether from accident or terrorism are ever present."

The centre will bring together experts in plastic and reconstructive surgery, headed by Professor Butler, to train other doctors interested in the specialism.

The Royal Free team worked round the clock for two weeks after the bombings to help victims recover from horrific injuries.

They have also been involved in other major emergencies in the capital, including the Kings Cross fire and the bombing of Covent Garden.

A spokesman for Mr Butler said: "It's never easy and they've had to deal with the results of serious accidents and fires.

"The pressure of dealing with any major disaster takes its toll on individuals, but Peter and his colleagues are all highly trained - some in war zones."

Mr Butler heads the Royal Free's UK facial transplantation team, which hopes to perform the first full face transplant in the country.