image: University of Chicago Magazine - logo

link to: featureslink to: class news, books, deathslink to: chicago journal, college reportlink to: investigationslink to: editor's notes, letters, chicagophile, course work
link to: back issueslink to: contact forms, address updateslink to: staff info, ad rates, subscriptions

  > > Chicago Journal

  > > College Report


Hughes’ $17.6 million gift goes toward new research facility

link to: Chicago JournalThe biggest new building called for in the campus master plan--the Interdivisional Research Building (IRB), designed to enhance collaboration between researchers from the biological and physical sciences divisions--also has a big price tag: approximately $131.5 million. But in January, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) came through with a big gift--$17.6 million--to help fund the IRB’s construction.

Groundbreaking for the IRB is planned for the summer of 2000, with construction to be completed in 2003. Approximately 375,000 square feet in size, the building will be located along the south side of 57th Street between Drexel and Ellis Avenues, on a site currently occupied by Whitman Laboratory, the Visual Sciences Center, and Phemister Hall.

The IRB will house faculty from the University’s new Institute for Biophysical Dynamics; scientists from the biochemistry & molecular biology department and the Ben May Institute for Cancer Research; the entire chemistry department; physicists from the James Franck Institute; and the University’s seven Hughes investigators.

Sponsoring investigators at universities and academic medical centers across the United States, the HHMI provides more than 20 percent of all private, nonprofit support for medical research in the nation. The Hughes grant will pay construction costs for 33,700 square feet--about 10 percent of the new structure--to be devoted to the U of C Hughes investigators’ laboratories and offices. Those investigators--professors Elaine V. Fuchs; Nipam H. Patel; Susan L. Lindquist; Donald F. Steiner, SM’56, MD’56; Graeme I. Bell; Harinder Singh; and Joseph A. Piccirilli--will move from their current space in the U of C Hospitals.

“We are extremely pleased that the Howard Hughes Medical Institute shares our vision that incredible science will result from juxtaposing these scientists in a single place,” says Glenn D. Steele Jr., dean of the Biological Sciences Division and vice president for medical affairs. “We expect that this combination will lead to the development of high-impact projects that transcend the boundaries separating the traditional disciplines of the biological and physical sciences.”

The IRB’s effect will transcend the physical facility itself, Steele says. With one of its main entrances facing south, the IRB will help create a new science quadrangle with the Crerar Library, the Cummings Life Science Center, the Henry Hinds Laboratory for the Geophysical Sciences, and the Samuel Kersten Jr. Physics Teaching Center. In addition to providing a focal point for researchers on all sides of the IRB, the new structure will have a less visible asset: its new central loading area, connected to an extension of the service tunnel system, will allow equipment and supplies to be transported easily between buildings.--K.S.

link to: top of the page


  > > Volume 92, Number 3

  > >
Minds at work
  > >
The stuff of tears
  > >
Native Chicago

  > > Class News

  > > Books
  > > Deaths

  > > Investigations

  > > Editor's Notes

  > > Letters
  > > Coursework
  > > Chicagophile



uchicago® ©2000 The University of Chicago® Magazine 1313 E. 60th St., Chicago, IL 60637
phone: 773/702-2163 fax: 773/702-2166