The announcement of the University of Rochester Medical Center’s nearly completed Clinical and Translational Science Building may conjure up images of daunting laboratories, concrete walls and intense scientists pursuing groundbreaking biomedical research in solitude. Think again.
With a project cost of $76.4 million and the potential to house 641 scientists, physicians, nurses, researchers and other pr
ofessionals in 200,000 square feet of space, this is a building unlike all other science buildings on the River Campus.
According to Thomas Pearson, Director of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, this is a building that “walks the walk”—it is built upon the principle of collaboration, teamwork and outreach to
the entire Rochester community.
It will be a building of aesthetic appeal — glass windows, an atrium for discussion, a break room on every floor and all of the ingredients that Pearson believes are essential in the spurring of creativity, what he terms the “informal curriculum.”
The facility will translate science into practice by integrating current scientific research with practical connections to the community and teaching. For example, the new classrooms on the first floor will house collaborative disciplines including biostatistics, epidemiology and biomedical informatics.
With $50 million from
New York State as part of the Western New York Stimulus Plan, this initiative promises to be of vital importance to the economy of Upstate New York, to new research and, most importantly, to the noble goal of putting classroom knowledge toward concretely helping people.
The CTSI was conceived in 2006 after receiving a $40 million grant from the National Institute of Health — the largest NIH award in the history of the School of Medicine and Dentistry. To fully integrate the institute, which currently ha
s several different branches spread out around the University, the building is being constructed next to the School of Nursing’s Helen Wood Hall and will share the same lobby.
Some motivation for the construction came from the growing need for research programs to be moved to new locations — some were in commercially based space, some were in old or poorly functioning facilities and some were needed for other functions.
The programs that will be contained in the CTSB include: Neurology Clinical Trials Coordinating Center ($19.6M), Heart Research Center ($8.3M), Neuromuscular Disease Center ($4.3M), Nursing Research ($3.0M), Smoking Cessation Center ($2.4M), Physician-Patient Communication and disparities research ($2.0M), Cancer Control ($2.2M), Oral Health ($1.4M) and the CDC National Center for Deaf Health Research ($1.1M).
Undergraduates will have opportunities in the new space through the Public Health program, which includes majors in Bioethics, Epidemiology and Health Policy. Many new summer internships will also be available through branches of the CTSI like the Rochester Preventative Research Program that conducts research on the deaf.
The CTSB has an ambitious goal of a $30-49 million dollar economic impact on Rochester through 830 construction jobs and up to 55
0 new permanent jobs both at the center and in the community.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said upon awarding the University with state funding that he anticipated the building would “revitalize the Upstate economy” and “reduce the state’s dependence on Wall Street revenues,” while standing as an important pillar in the “world class biomedical industry.”
Students will also be interested to know that the building will be a high performance green building and intends to adhere as much as possible to environmental standards in order to become the first certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design building on the UR campus.
In early April there will be a formal ceremony to celebrate the completion of the building and on April 15, the construction companies will officially give the building over to the University. By May 1 it will be fully occupied and ready to commence all summer programs.
Buletti is a member of
the class of 2013.