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Regents Approve Second Lab Building for South Campus

Regents Approve Second Lab Building for South Campus
Lab Facility will be Third Building in Research Park, Second Addition Announced This Week
M. D. Anderson News Release 05/08/03

The Board of Regents of The University of Texas System today (May 8) approved funding and design for a new lab building for The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, the third facility to be erected in The University of Texas Research Park in Houston.

Yesterday (May 7), representatives of M. D. Anderson and its partners broke ground on the Proton Therapy Center at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, a facility that will offer advanced radiation treatment to patients and anchor the research park when it opens in 2006.  M. D. Anderson already has one research building in the park, a facility known as South Campus Research Building I, which will receive occupants later this month.

The University of Texas Research Park is envisioned as a place that would help spur growth in the biotechnology industry in Houston.  The 140-acre park, located at the corner of Fannin Street and Old Spanish Trail, is a collaboration between M. D. Anderson and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

The regents today approved $50 million for the new 147,000 square-foot lab building which will house research facilities for molecular pathology, molecular therapeutics, gastrointestinal medical oncology, gastroenterology and gastrointestinal pathology.

The $50 million for the building includes $40 million in revenue bonds and the remainder from hospital revenues.

Known as South Campus Research Building II, the newly-approved building will mirror the look of South Campus Research Building I.  The original lab building houses laboratory facilities for immunology, lymphoma, myeloma, bone marrow transplant and melanoma medical oncology.  The two lab buildings will be connected by a breezeway, and will share a cafeteria, conference center and parking garage.  South Campus Research Building II will begin construction in July with occupancy slated for April 2005.

According to Margaret Kripke, Ph.D., executive vice president and chief academic officer at
M. D. Anderson, the two research buildings in The University of Texas Research Park help address the critical need for new space for conducting research. 

During the last six years, the institution’s research funding and research opportunities have increased tremendously, said Kripke, thus the need for more and improved facilities.  Research expenditures, which totaled $256 million in 2002, increased 110 percent in six years.  In 2002, M. D. Anderson received $108 million in federal grants, including more National Cancer Institute grants than any other academic institution, for an increase of 100 percent.  In addition, a total of 11,142 patients enrolled in clinical trials in 2002, an increase of 167 percent, she added.

“It is vital that M. D. Anderson continue to expand research facilities to keep up with the expansion of our research programs,” said Kripke.  “Two disciplines that will be located in the new south campus building are molecular pathology and molecular therapeutics, research areas that will be the future of cancer diagnosis, care and prevention.” 

John Mendelsohn, M.D., president of M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and a leader in the move to boost biotechnology in Houston, said, “The hallmark of M. D. Anderson is our translational research, scientific discoveries that directly benefit the patient. The facilities that are completed and planned for the research park will contribute directly to future therapies for patients.  The beauty of the research park is the opportunity for synergy through collaboration between academic investigators and researchers in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.”

The University of Texas Research Park was established to develop life science technologies.  Ultimately, said Mendelsohn, the park may include as many as 15 buildings for academic and industry research.

05/08/03


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