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U receives funding for biomedical research buildings

Thanks to bipartisan support from the state legislature and Governor Tim Pawlenty, the University of Minnesota will construct four state-of-the-art research buildings as part of the Minnesota Biomedical Research Program. The five-year project, backed by university-sold bonds, will cost $292 million. The state will help repay 75 percent of those bonds, about $219 million. The remainder will come from philanthropy and other sources.

The new biomedical sciences buildings will provide high-tech space for faculty to conduct interdisciplinary research in areas such as heart disease; Alzheimer’s disease; cancer of the breast, lung, colon, and prostate; brain and nerve disorders; and infectious diseases.

“Our biomedical research program will provide reliable, long-term funding for essential research infrastructure that will advance Minnesota’s global economic leadership and contribute to our quality of life for generations to come,” says University President Robert Bruininks, Ph.D. “This investment in infrastructure builds on a decade of investments totaling almost $500 million and will help Minnesota maintain a leadership position in this industry.”

The four new buildings, which will house approximately 120 faculty researchers, 480 research assistants, and additional staff, will attract an estimated $100 million in new research dollars annually to the state.

Along with the Medical Bioscience Building, funded by the 2006 legislature and scheduled to be occupied by fall 2009, the McGuire Translational Research Facility, which opened in 2005, and the Lions Research Building, these four new buildings will be part of a biomedical sciences research park located on the north side of the TCF Bank Stadium, now under construction. The new East Gateway district of campus is the largest University expansion since the West Bank was developed.

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