School of Medicine announces plans for new research building

Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis plans to construct an energy-efficient, multistory research building dedicated to interdisciplinary research on some of the most complex problems in human biology.

Positioned along McKinley Avenue just west of Taylor Avenue, the six-story building eventually will house 138,000 square feet of highly flexible, open laboratories. The site is currently a surface parking lot. School of Medicine employees who park there and on another lot along McKinley Avenue are being notified about alternate parking options on campus.

“We envision this new research building as another key, strategic improvement to our campus that will house cutting-edge research labs devoted to advancing innovation and human health, and we are committed to creating spaces that facilitate this important work and that position us to compete successfully for future research support,” said Larry J. Shapiro, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. “These are economically challenging times for the support of science, yet the opportunities for innovation and advances never have been greater for those institutions that continue to invest in the future.”

Planners expect to break ground on the $75 million facility this summer with a June 2015 target date for completion.

Researchers slated to work in the building include those involved in genetics, genomics and regenerative biology. The building will house labs from the Department of Genetics, the Center for Genome Sciences & Systems Biology (the first BioMed 21 interdisciplinary center, established in 2004), the Department of Medicine and the Department of Developmental Biology.

The new building adds much-needed laboratory space to the campus. The BJC Institute of Health Building, completed in 2010, added 240,000 square feet of research space, but that space is now occupied. The new building also replaces older, less efficient research space with new, highly flexible space that can accommodate new research teams and interdisciplinary research.

“This new state-of-the-art facility will help fulfill the vision of our BioMed 21 plan by bringing together groups of investigators with the breadth of combined expertise and resources needed to solve complex problems,” said Jeffrey D. Milbrandt, MD, PhD, the James S. McDonnell Professor and head of the Department of Genetics. “This building will help us bridge traditional disciplinary boundaries from computer science to genomics to clinical activities, and together help form a scientific community engaged in using cutting-edge technologies to make discoveries that provide the foundation for the development of new medical treatments.”

Washington University School of Medicine

The new research building (red) will be built along McKinley Avenue near Taylor Avenue, just southeast of the McDonnell Medical Sciences Building (1) and south of the East McDonnell Building (2).