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M. D. Anderson Dedicates George and Cynthia Mitchell Basic Sciences Research Building

M. D. Anderson Dedicates George and Cynthia Mitchell Basic Sciences Research Building
M. D. Anderson News Release 10/22/04

Today (Oct. 22), The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center formally dedicated the George and Cynthia Mitchell Basic Sciences Research Building (Mitchell BSRB), and thanked the Mitchell family for their long-standing commitment to the institution.

Through a $20 million gift from the Mitchell family in 2001 — the third-largest gift in the institution’s history— M. D. Anderson broke ground on the facility November 2001, which now is in final construction stages. The building dedication and donation culminated the Mitchells’ long history of giving to the institution, which began in 1962.

The dedication was a private ceremony and tour of a lab floor, with guests including Mitchell family members and friends, M. D. Anderson leadership, Texas Medical Center supporters and other friends of M. D. Anderson.

Scheduled for completion in December 2004, the 17-story, 485,700-square-foot building sits just north of M. D. Anderson’s main hospital and clinic complex, and will include 69 new laboratories for molecular genetics, epidemiology, biochemistry and molecular biology, and brain cancer research, as well as veterinary medicine and tissue bank facilities. The first lab will open in spring 2005.

“The George and Cynthia Mitchell Basic Sciences Research Building symbolizes the significant growth in research and collaborations with other institutions that are vital to M. D. Anderson’s strategic vision and mission to eliminate cancer. We are greatly indebted to the Mitchell family for their extraordinary foresight and dedication to that vision. The facility will set new standards for the institution, not only because of its design, but also because of the research that will be conducted there,” says M. D. Anderson President John Mendelsohn, M.D.

The building was constructed to accommodate M. D. Anderson’s growing research needs, and over the past five years, the institution has experienced a growth of 143 percent in federal research grants and 350 percent in Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) grants, as well as an increase in faculty of 46 percent over the same time period, including 33 basic scientists in the past year.

The Mitchell BSRB features six floors of dedicated basic sciences research space, with office space. The June and Virgil Waggoner Conference Hall is located on the third floor, and includes classrooms and conference facilities for the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, a collaborative program between M. D. Anderson and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. The Onstead Auditorium, also on the third floor, is a 223-seat auditorium and conference facility with multi-media presentation capabilities such as video conferencing. 

A two-floor vivarium, which provides quarters and laboratories for small animal research, will house 130,000 mice and other small rodents.

The building’s unique design contains interstitial space — suspended floor levels located above each laboratory and vivarium floors — to house plumbing, air circulation equipment, wiring and flexible areas for any oversized equipment needed for research. This space allows labs to be modified for new technology for future research projects without disrupting nearby research. A lab floor module can be reconfigured for new occupancy in 48 hours, without affecting other laboratories.

The facility will have eight floors of typical floor space, but by adding the interstitial space, the height equivalent is of a 16-story, above-grade building, and an additional two basement levels for vivarium usage.

Fund raising for the Mitchell BSRB as of Oct. 2004 reflects more than $73 million in gifts and pledges — nearing the $75 million philanthropic fund-raising goal for the building.

The Mitchell BSRB is one of five new buildings M. D. Anderson has scheduled to open in the next two years. The Ambulatory Clinical Building, the Cancer Prevention Building, the Proton Therapy Center and the South Campus Research Building II and Conference Center, along with the Mitchell BSRB, bring more than two million square feet of new space to M. D. Anderson and the Texas Medical Center.

George and Cynthia Mitchell are recognized among Texas’ most generous philanthropists and most innovative community advocates. In addition to supporting M. D. Anderson, the Mitchells have contributed to advancing the biotechnology industry, higher education, historic preservation and the performing and visual arts.


© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center