U opens new Medical Biosciences Building

Tuesday marked the opening of the Medical Biosciences Building.

Graduate students Michelle Gleason, left, and Rachelle Veenstra in the Microbiology, Immunology, Cancer Biology doctoral program take a tour of the labs at the grand opening of the Medical Biosciences Building on Monday.

Graduate students Michelle Gleason, left, and Rachelle Veenstra in the Microbiology, Immunology, Cancer Biology doctoral program take a tour of the labs at the grand opening of the Medical Biosciences Building on Monday.

Luke Feuerherm

Tuesday marked the opening of the Medical Biosciences Building. It is the second building in the University of MinnesotaâÄôs Biomedical Discovery District, located a block north of TCF Bank Stadium. Following a ceremonial ribbon cutting, the building was flooded by researchers eager to get acquainted with their new home. Construction of the new Medical Biosciences Building began in 2007 and was completed at a cost of $79.3 million. It will now house 210 researchers and 25 principal investigators. âÄúIt started with an idea; that idea was that we needed a place to put researchers so they could work together without barriers,âÄù said Frank Cerra, dean of the UniversityâÄôs Medical School. The building integrates the UniversityâÄôs immune system, brain and AlzheimerâÄôs disease research. âÄú[The] big advantage is bringing so many labs together,âÄù said Matt Mescher, director of the UniversityâÄôs Center for Immunology. Researchers expect the building to provide increased synergy amongst various fields of research as well as keep and attract valuable researchers. âÄúWe are now able to attract new researchers,âÄù said Harry Orr, director of the UniversityâÄôs Institute of Human Genetics. Orr highlighted the UniversityâÄôs early recruiting success, drawing researchers away from other medical schools, including a researcher from Johns Hopkins University. âÄúThis project is critical to the state of Minnesota, in order to create jobs and secure ideas,âÄù said Sen. Kathy Saltzman, DFL-Woodbury. Saltzman is vice chair of the Business, Industry and Jobs Committee and sees the Biomedical Discovery District as an invaluable means of proliferating ideas and protecting them by keeping them in state. The Biomedical Discovery District is a $300 million project, funded by a combination of state bonds and private donors. Cerra sees the future of the state directly tied to biomedical advances and hopes the stateâÄôs innovative reputation will continue. âÄú[IâÄôm] going to miss being next to Coffman union, but the future is this location,âÄù Mescher said.