Biotech boost

University and city officials celebrate the December groundbreaking of the nonprofit Center of Research, Technology & Entrepreneurial Exchange (CORTEX) at 4300 Forest Park Ave. The state-of-the art structure — a $36 million, three-story, 170,000-square-foot building — is part of a citywide effort to develop St. Louis as a significant biotechnology center. The project is a collaboration between Washington University, the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation, the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Saint Louis University and the Missouri Botanical Garden. Speakers at the groundbreaking ceremony included Mayor Francis Slay and William H. Danforth, chancellor emeritus of Washington University and chairman of the Coalition for Plant and Life Sciences. The building is slated to be completed in December.