Dedicated: BJC Institute of Health at Washington University School of Medicine

The BJC Institute of Health at Washington University School of Medicine was dedicated in June, amid a celebration featuring U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, and artist Maya Lin.

Lin, best known for her design of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., designed a reflecting pool and plaza with native landscaping that surrounds the new institute, creating an expansive green space in the heart of the Washington University Medical Center campus. Lin worked on the project in partnership with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc. of Boston.

The 11-story building is home base for BioMed 21 – an innovative research initiative designed to speed scientific discoveries and rapidly apply breakthroughs to patient care.

The $235 million BJC Institute of Health adds 240,000 square feet of research space and houses five new Interdisciplinary Research Centers.

Each center has a particular focus: cancer; cardiovascular disease; neurodegenerative disease; infectious disease; and membrane excitability disease. And each brings together researchers from different scientific disciplines and academic departments to work together in designated laboratory space.

This cross-fertilization of disciplines and the close interactions among scientists provides new inspiration for endeavors that can transform scientific discoveries into bedside medicine.