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GROUND BROKEN FOR
BIOMEDICAL/BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
RESEARCH BUILDING

By Maureen McArthur

 

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Photo of groundbreaking for Biomecial Biological Sciences Research Building, Jan. 7, 2002

“This new facility reflects the University’s commitment to promote human and economic development through the extension and application of knowledge and to continue to develop distinguished researchers”

Lee T. Todd Jr.
UK President

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Jan. 7 , 2002 (Lexington, Ky.) -- Ground was broken today for the new University of Kentucky Biomedical/Biological Sciences Research
Building.  Construction on the $67.2 million, 185,000-square-foot building is scheduled to begin in spring 2002, with completion in the spring of 2004.  The building, which will have four floors of research space and a basement, will be located on South Limestone Street across from the Kentucky Clinic.

The building will provide state-of-the-art space for researchers in the fields of neurosciences that will include the development of a Neurosciences Institute (including the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center and sensory biology), genetics and genomics, and vaccine development and host resistance.

The Biomedical/Biological Sciences Research Building is the first development of the West Campus.

The Kentucky General Assembly approved $39 million for the building, with the remaining funding provided by the University.  This represents the largest capital project UK has ever undertaken.

“This new facility reflects the University’s commitment to promote human and economic development through the extension and application of knowledge and to continue to develop distinguished researchers,” said UK President Lee T. Todd Jr.  “Research in this facility will greatly contribute to important scientific advances as well as to regional economic development.”

Researchers in the new facility will focus on:

Neurosciences – UK researchers are working to understand typical brain function, which will assist in future development of therapies for neurological diseases and disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease.  Researchers in the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center at UK also are working to understand the effect of severe injuries to the spinal cord and brain, and to develop clinical approaches for the recovery of patients who have suffered such injuries.

Genetics and Genomics – Knowing which genes are activated or suppressed in diseases or conditions can provide targets for new therapies.  UK researchers are using the latest technologies, such as DNA microarray analyses, to compare expression of thousands of genes simultaneously. 

Vaccine Development and Host Resistance – Resistance to antibiotics, newly recognized diseases, immunosuppression due to cancer or transplantation, and the recognition that many diseases thought to be non-infectious are caused or worsened by microbes, infectious disease research now reaches into many new areas.  Clinical research efforts in this field include studies of new antimicrobial agents and new vaccines, while laboratory research focuses on immune responses to viruses, bacteria and parasites, as well as studies of how microbes develop resistance to antimicrobial treatments.

Along with contributing to scientific advances, UK’s research program also plays a critical role in regional economic development and has a tremendous impact on the state’s economy.  According to a model by the UK Center for Business and Economic Research, research grants and contracts from out-of-state sources resulted in a $327.7 million contribution to the Kentucky economy in fiscal year 2000-2001


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