The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) has just celebrated the opening of its latest state-of-the-art research labs, at UC Santa Barbara's Center for Stem Cell Biology and Engineering. The new labs are located in the Bio II Building next to the Life Sciences Building on the eastern edge of campus. The 10,000sf, $6.4M wholesale renovation has taken about 5 years to go from concept to full realization. All funding came from CIRM or private donations, to allow faculty the flexibility to study the full range of stem cell technologies, without regard to federal funding limitations. The new Center is part of the Neuroscience Research Institute at UCSB.
Science Market Update
Construction of an exciting new research facility was recently announced for the University of Illinois at Chicago. According to a UIC news article, Illinois Governor Quinn declared the commencement of the Advanced Chemical Technology Building (ACTB), which will house researchers from chemistry, biology, and physics. The driving idea behind the building is to foster connections between the three broad fields to focus on specific fields like immunology, orthopedics, tumor growth, and nanoscience.
The Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (WADDL) within the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University in Pullman is one of an elite group of veterinary facilities that use sophisticated molecular tools to diagnose disease, with labs for bacteriology, parasitology, pathology, serology, and virology. One threat they've been keeping a particularly keen eye out for this summer is West Nile Virus, which they have in fact found in horses, and which led the State to issue warnings for both animals (to have them vaccinated) and humans (to take extra precautions). West Nile is transmitted from infected birds, through biting mosquitos, and on to larger warm-blooded creatures. Because this has been such a hot, dry summer across most of the U.S., birds and mosquitos are finding themselves more often sharing the same rare watering hole, which may be causing the rise in West Nile cases. West Nile is an example of a zoonotic disease, meaning that it can be transfered between species. The role of veterinary labs like WADDL in tracking and identifying cases of these diseases is doubly important, then, as they work to prevent epidemics in our animals as well as ourselves.
One of the things they got was some very thoughtfully designed labs. Though flexibility of design is important to assure future utility, research team leaders gave significant input into the design of their specific labs to make sure those labs were ideal for the type of research that would be carried out within their walls. Project architect Tim Williams, of Zimmer Gunsul Frasca, said in an interview:
“Scientists spend a lot of time in the lab. The UW faculty wanted to look at how we could make that a nicer place to be."
Here are some of the ways they made a nicer science lab building:
- 5-story, 90,300sf structure
- Each of the four above-ground floors is divided into a laboratory half and an office half
- The basement is a 28,000sf low-vibration lab space
- Houses more than 15 faculty, 3 research centers and 4 major instrumentation centers
- Aluminum-plate shielding on the building guards against electromagnetic waves
- Natural ventilation in office spaces provided by windows that open
- Optimized ventilation in the lab spaces, replacing air 6 times per hour rather than 10
- Innovative commons spaces
- Green roof gardens
UW officials are proud of the new building, not just because it is state-of-the-art, but also because it's "state-of-the-science." Molecular engineering is a relatively new field, and the UW Molecular Engineering and Sciences Institute (MOLES, the building's primary occupant) sees its mission as exploring a new kind of engineering for the 21st Century: rather than build bridges over rivers (still a noble feat), the new molecular engineer may be building proteins that travel to specific parts of the body. He or she may follow the latest developments in chemistry, biology, physics, nanotechnology and predictive modeling; and his or her research projects will often be interdisciplinary, with colleagues from diverse fields and perhaps different institutions.
Furthermore, if life scientists often pursue basic research to understand the building blocks of life, and engineers build things and occupy themselves with practical mechanics and physical principles, the fusion of the two should have tremendous translational potential. Such is the goal of MOLES and their new collaborative workspace. Per their website:
Research at the Institute for Molecular Engineering & Sciences will be evolvable and dynamic, focusing initially on the themes of CleanTech and BioTech.
Some of the faculty scientists who will be doing research in the new MOLES facility include:
- Patrick Stayton, a professor of bioengineering
- Suzie Pun, a bioengineering associate professor
- David Baker, a biochemistry professor
- Daniel Gamelin, a chemistry professor
- Hugh Hillhouse, a chemical engineering professor
- Christine Luscombe, an associate professor of materials science and engineering
(Dr. David Baker seems to come up in our blog series with regularity. For former blogs citing his work, read the following:)
Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. will hold 3 professional tradeshow events focusing on Washington state's bioscience technology and the research partnerships between scientists and the science equipment industry next month on these dates:
- 10/23/2012 -- Washington State University BioResearch Product Faire event, Pullman
- 10/24/2012 -- Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center BRPF event, Seattle
- 10/25/2012 -- University of Washington Front Line event, Seattle
For information on exhibiting at the University of Washington show in particular, and receiving a university research funding report, click here:
Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. is a full service event marketing and planning company producing on-campus, life science research tradeshows nationwide for the past 20 years. We plan and promote each event to bring the best products and services to the best research campuses across the country.
Tags: Bioscience research, CEEM, UW, Molecular Engineering, University of Washington, Northwest, WSU, New research facilities, 2012, Biochemistry, chemistry research, Engineering, Front Line event, Energy, Seattle, new construction, construction
The Clinical & Translational Science Center (CTSC) headquartered at Manhattan's Weill Cornell Medical College has just received a $49.6M renewal of its 5-year grant by the NIH's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) in order to continue its work. Launched seven years ago, the the CTSC set out to realize the successful integration of inter-institutional resources among neighbors on York Avenue and the immediate area. The resulting cluster of New York's East Side institutions forms a unique and cohesive biomedical complex collectively dedicated to accelerating the clinical application of basic science discoveries.
Tags: Rockefeller University, Northeast, Translational Research, New research facilities, new science wet labs, New York, Columbia University, 2012, Weill Cornell, Columbia, MSSM, RockU, BioResearch Product Faire Event, Funding, NY, NIH, Stoneybrook, SunySB, NYC campus competition, Mt Sinai School of Medicine
Physics and nanotechnology research at the University of Minnesota has outgrown its 80-year old facility and prompted the construction of the 144,000 sf state-of-the-art building that is now rising on campus. (See the live webcam footage.) The previous home to the Physics Department, the Tate Laboratory, can no longer support the advanced research carried out by more than 150 faculty and graduate students there, nor is it adequate for a field (nanotechnology) that has only relatively recently come into being. The new $83M lab research facility will allow the physics and nanotechnology departments to move forward in this century as well as join forces in collaborative research projects.
Tags: Midwest, nanotechnology, New research facilities, Minnesota, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, 2012, BioResearch Product Faire Event, Research, research laboratories, MN, new construction, BRPF, Minn, Twin Cities
The University of Hawaii Cancer Center has successfully renewed its National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation and is on schedule to open its new world-class cancer research and treatment facility near the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) in the Kaka’ako district of Honolulu early next year. The Hawaiian biomedical research center is the only NCI-level facility in the Pacific Islands and one of only 66 NCI research organizations in the U.S. The island state may be a tropical paradise and vacation destination in the popular imagination, but there's no doubt that its capital city is also becoming a serious biomedical research magnet as well.
Tags: biomedical research, Bioresearch, Biomedical expansion, University of Hawaii, cancer research, New research facilities, new science wet labs, Southwest, 2012, Hawaii, Cancer, Front Line event, Honolulu, HI, new construction, Cancer Center
Construction began four years ago on Mt. Sinai New York's new 550,000sf Hess Center for Science and Medicine on E. 102nd St., between Madison and Fifth Avenues in East Harlem. Originally due for completion this fall, the new opening date has been pushed into spring of 2013. The 13-storey building is a major advance in the medical institute's larger plan of integrating its clinical and research areas through a strong translational medicine program. Basic research facilities will include wet and dry bench labs, animal facilities, and computer-supported research spaces. There will be lounges, meeting and education rooms, and other open, interactive spaces to encourage collaboration through daily contact. The half million square feet will add to, not replace, Mount Sinai School of Medicine's overall facility space. They have already begun recruiting and hiring new faculty researchers.
Sometimes it makes more sense to start from scratch and get it right than to try and retrofit and modernize older lab buildings. That's just what Ohio State University in Columbus decided to do for its Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry Building (CBEC). The new 225,000 gsf lab building broke ground last month and will replace 4 older facilities that had deferred maintenance and lacked proper floor-to-floor height, structural dimensions, and environmental stability. The New Koffolt Laboratories will be LEED-certifiable (possibly Silver) and will constitute a substantial upgrade with their science wet labs, computational research spaces, shared core laboratories, instructional spaces, and offices. The $126M project is due to be completed in September 2014.
Tags: Midwest, Ohio State University, Ohio, Bioresearch, University of Cincinnati, New research facilities, new science wet labs, 2012, Biochemistry, bio research, BioResearch Product Faire Event, Cincinnati, research laboratories, Columbus, OH, new construction, BRPF, OSU, UC
Construction has begun on a new research building at the University of Oregon, which will house new lab space for the Oregon Research Institute. The expansion of Oregon Research lab space is an important step for this growing institute, which is by far the largest and top funded independent research center in Oregon.