Construction of New Research Building Underway

June 23, 2009

The University of Rochester Medical Center has begun construction on the Clinical and Translational Science Building (CTSB), a $76.4 million project that will serve as the hub of resources, expertise, and networks necessary to accelerate the clinical application of biomedical research. The project has received $50 million in support from New York State. 

“The Clinical and Translational Science Building represents the kind of public investment in research that can advance medicine and strengthen local economic growth,” said Joel Seligman, president of the University of Rochester. “Governor David Paterson, New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and the local Rochester Assembly delegation are to be commended for their commitment to make this vision into a reality.”

“The CTSB represents one of the cornerstones of the Medical Center’s future plans,” said Mark Taubman, M.D., acting CEO of the Medical Center. “This facility will make the Medical Center a more efficient and effective clinical science enterprise and a stronger competitor for government and private research dollars.”

The facility, which will be the first of its kind in the nation, will serve as a home for the University’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute. The Institute was created in the wake of a $40 million grant from the National Institutes of Health in 2006. The Rochester grant – which is the largest NIH award in the School of Medicine and Dentistry’s (SMD) history – was one of the first announced by the agency under a national initiative to re-engineer clinical research.

“The CTSB represents the culmination of a decades long effort to create an integrated academic home for clinical research at the University of Rochester,” said David Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the SMD and principal investigator of the NIH grant. “This facility will create an environment that will effectively catalyze the translation of basic science discoveries into clinically useful knowledge and treatments to improve health and health care.”

Once completed, the CTSB will be occupied by 600 scientists, physicians, nurses, statisticians, research administrators, and support staff. The facility will bring together under one roof several important resources that help researchers design clinical trials, recruit participants, collect and evaluate data, and collaborate with industry and other partners. It will contain training and education programs and clinical and translational research initiatives for neurological disorders, cancer, pediatrics, health promotion with the Deaf community, and cardiovascular disease.  The building will also serve as coordinating center for the Upstate New York Translational Research Network – a consortium of 13 biomedical research institutions in a geographic region stretching from Albany to Buffalo. 

“Clinical research is a fundamentally multi-disciplinary undertaking requiring close coordination and collaboration among researchers and support staff,” said Thomas A. Pearson, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., director of the CTSI. “Bringing these resources together into a facility will help accelerate biomedical innovation and the CTSB will have several novel architectural features that will encourage interaction among investigators and foster team-building.”

The 200,000 square foot, four story building is being constructed adjacent to Helen Wood Hall and the two buildings will share a common lobby. Last month the site was cleared and fenced and initially utility relocation has commenced. Excavation for the foundation will commence later in the summer and the building’s superstructure will start to rise in the fall. The project is expected to be completed in the summer of 2011.

LeChase Construction of Rochester is the construction manager for the CTSB which was designed by Philadelphia-based architects Francis Cauffman along with Rochester’s Bergmann Associates and BR&A Engineers from Boston. Donald Blair & Partners Architects provided preliminary space programming and site planning, along with Mark Chen Architect who has served as a consultant for the Medical Center.

The building incorporates several design features that will increase energy efficiency and the Medical Center intends to seek a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, which will make CTSB the first LEED-certified building on the University of Rochester campus.

According to the Center for Governmental Research, the project will create 830 construction jobs and hundreds of permanent jobs both at the Medical Center and in the community with a total annual economic impact of $30 million.

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“Projects like the University of Rochester’s Clinical and Translational Science Building play a key role in moving New York State forward in the New Economy, distinguishing Rochester as a national leader in translational research and leveraging millions of dollars in private investment. Life science innovation is at the core of my New Economy plan, and I’m proud that our investment in this initiative supports the creation of more than a thousand jobs.”

-- Governor David Paterson

“This groundbreaking for the Clinical and Translational Science Institute will continue the University of Rochester’s legacy of innovations that ease human suffering.  It’s also a giant step toward making this region a world center for biomedical research.     As we struggle through this global financial crisis and its profound impact on our state economy, we will need to make difficult choices.  But we will remain committed to making the important and strategic investments that will transform and revitalize the Upstate economy.”

-- The Honorable Sheldon Silver, Speaker, New York State Assembly

“I am proud to support the Clinical and Translational Science Building because its benefits will transcend to everyone in our community through fostering a streamlined process for finding cures and treatments for disease, allowing the University to develop new ways to reach underserved populations.”

-- The Honorable David Gantt, New York State Assembly

“I applaud President Seligman, Speaker Silver and my colleagues in the Assembly majority for their leadership on this project. The CTSI will significantly advance medical research by bringing cutting –edge medical care to the region’s residents, and will serve as a vehicle for economic growth by transforming the region into a powerhouse in the development and evaluation of new medical technologies. According to the Center for Governmental Research, the immediate and catalytic impact of the CTSI will be nearly $30 million annually. The direct and spillover impact of this project will total $43 million in labor income and result in the creation of approximately 600 jobs. Additionally, the Institute will enable the University to aggressively expand the number of clinical and translational investigators over the next 5 to 10 years, which could yield an additional $25 million in research revenue per year.”

-- The Honorable Susan John, New York State Assembly

“The beginning of construction of the University of Rochester's Clinical and Translational Science Building is yet another milestone in the history of this community's contributions to the advancement of science and health. Through the work that will be done here, we will gain a greater understanding of a wide range of illnesses and enhance our capabilities with regard to early diagnosis, treatments and cures. I am honored to have played a role in making this extraordinary facility a reality.”

-- The Honorable Joseph Morelle, New York State Assembly

“I am encouraged that the construction of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute building is moving forward.  The creation of this institute will further propel the University of Rochester's already outstanding reputation as an international leader in research, medical practice and education.  As a community, we are fortunate to have this facility call Rochester home.”

-- The Honorable David Koon, New York State Assembly

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