Queen Mary University Of London broke into the top 100 of the Times Higher Education World University Ranking, coming 98th on the planet.

It is ranked 16th in the UK and has enjoyed a meteoric rise, which has seen it jump 47 places since 2012.

Here are five things you probably didn’t know about the Mile End-based university.

1. It was a trailblazing institute

The Medical College of the Royal London Hospital (now part of Barts) was England’s first medical school when it opened in 1785. In 1850, Elizabeth Blackwell became the first fully qualified female doctor in the UK, after training at Barts Hospital Medical College.

2. It had it’s own nuclear reactor

We’re not kidding. From 1964-1982 Queen Mary College maintained its own nuclear reactor for research purposes, initially sited beneath Mile End Road. Honest.

3. The Elephant Man lives there... kind of

Whatever urban myths you’ve heard about Michael Jackson having owned the bones of John Merrick, his skeleton is in fact housed in the university’s School of Medicine and Dentistry’s Pathology Museum.

4. It has a near-300-year-old Jewish cemetery

The university has the second oldest surviving Jewish cemetery in England, a Spanish Portuguese Jewish cemetery dating from 1726, in the centre of the campus.

5. Musical alumni

Despite its reputation for excellence in the medical profession, the university lists some of the UK’s most famous rock musicians among its former students, including Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson, Libertines frontman Pete Doherty and former Suede guitarist Bernard Butler.