Construction Begins on Second Medical Research Building

Project Marks Second Phase of $550 Million Initiative

June 20, 2000

Crews began construction today on a four-story, $36-million research facility on the campus of the University of Rochester Medical Center, formally launching the second phase of a 10-year, $550-million initiative to expand the University's medical research programs.

The new facility, which will be located at the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Lattimore Road, will be connected by a three-story, glass-enclosed walkway to the Arthur Kornberg Medical Research Building which was completed last fall. The new building will house 35 scientists and 125 technicians and support personnel. In total, more than 100 research scientists and 500 technicians and support personnel will be hired, representing the largest recruitment effort at the University since the School of Medicine and Dentistry was founded in 1924.

The Medical Center reached the first milestone of its research initiative last September with the inauguration of the Aab Institute of Biomedical Sciences and the opening of the $73-million Kornberg Building. That facility, named in honor of a Nobel-Prize-winning graduate of the medical school, now houses the Medical Center's expanded research programs in aging, cancer biology, cardiovascular research, oral biology, and vaccine biology and immunology.

Scientists in the new, 143,000 square-foot building will conduct research in the areas of surgery, medicine, pediatrics, and genetics. Their work will complement the research taking place in the Aab Institute. For example, pediatric researchers in the new building may collaborate with vaccine researchers in the Kornberg Building to develop vaccines against childhood diseases such as ear infections, asthma, and juvenile diabetes.

$40-Million Fund-raising Effort Announced

At a groundbreaking ceremony this evening, Medical Center CEO Jay H. Stein, M.D. will announce a $40-million fundraising effort to help finance the construction of the second building and the recruitment of the scientists who will work in both the new building and in the Kornberg Building.

"The support we have received from the Rochester community in the first phase of this initiative has been tremendous," said Stein. ""People view this initiative as an important asset to the community. Strong public support has been a key factor in our decision to move ahead with the second phase of this effort."

The fund-raising effort to build and equip the Kornberg building and recruit scientists for the Aab Institute raised $35 million in just two and one half years. It was led by Rochester businessmen Robert Gutkin and Robert Hurlbut. The fund-raising effort for the second phase of the initiative will be led by Richard Aab and David Flaum. The Aab Institute of Biomedical Sciences was named in honor of Aab, who championed the development of the Institute and donated $5-million on behalf of his family to speed its development.

"This initiative is helping the Medical Center attract some of the nation's top physicians and scientists to Rochester," said Aab. "This has important implications for the health care of people in the Rochester area, as well as the long-term economic health of the Rochester community."

In addition to bringing new medical expertise to Rochester, the expanded research program will contribute substantially to the Rochester economy. The initiative will create more than 600 high-skill jobs at the Medical Center and will contribute more than $1 billion to the local economy over the next decade. It is also expected spawn new companies to develop commercial products based on discoveries and advances made in the Medical Center's laboratories.

"The Medical Center's research program is a catalyst for making Rochester a player in the rapidly growing field of biotechnology," said Flaum. "By supporting the Medical Center's research initiative we are helping to lay the foundation for the new Rochester economy. "

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Christopher DiFrancesco
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