In the past few months, there has been quite a bit of activity surrounding the progress on the Biomedical Discovery District and I wanted to take the opportunity to update you all on that work.
The purpose of the entire Biomedical Discovery District is to support the interdisciplinary approach needed to improve health- specifically in diabetes, infectious disease, neuroscience, cardiovascular disease and cancer research. This growing area of campus is designed to promote translational research - to allow the creation of new medical treatments faster and more efficiently. It's important to remember that not all of the buildings in the district are brand new as the first - Lions Research Building - opened in 1992. You can view a complete timeline of the Biomedical Discovery District here.
As many of you know, our current lack of lab space means that researchers who are funded and ready to pursue new discoveries have a real challenge in moving forward because of inadequate facilities. If we are to continue Minnesota's tradition as a leader in health discoveries and position ourselves as a world leader in biomedical research, we need to invest now in infrastructure and talent.
Many others recognized this need to invest as well, which is why the Biomedical Discovery District has received bipartisan support from the Minnesota legislature, Governor's office, and significant support from private companies and donors.
But, even with this support, we are not immune to economic realities. In March, I discussed how we'll finance the remaining infrastructure of the BDD in a presentation to the Board of Regents, which can be viewed here . If you take a look at the revised plan, you'll notice that we've combined two separate structures into one project. We are consolidating functions and repurposing space to lower the price tag without compromising our vision.
One result of the revised BDD plan is the Cancer/Cardiovascular Research Complex. And last week the Board of Regents approved the schematic plan for this building, which will be the gateway to the Biomedical Discovery District. Construction will begin in April 2011, and in 2013 faculty and staff will move in. The building will house 63 principal investigators working on advancements in the treatment of cancer and heart disease.
Another result of the revised BDD plan is that instead of building the last facility, those funds will be available to renovate existing laboratories, co-locating faculty in similar areas of research, and potentially decommissioning unneeded space.
For those of you who missed Friday's opportunity to view the displays of the building's design along the PWB-Moos Tower 2nd floor corridor, the posted Cancer/Cardiovascular Research Complex plan includes two aerial renderings of the building's exterior. Also, a video linked here shows the architect's plans.
When you've taken a look at the plans, let me know what you think of the planned progress.