Special to Find It In Fondren®
The University of Mississippi Medical Center dedicated the $50 million, 124,852 square-foot Translational Research Center (recently) during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new facility.
The building is designed to help researchers translate scientific discoveries into therapeutic interventions that improve the health of individuals and the public, covering a continuum from discovery to recovery.
“The opening of this building marks the end of a lot of hard work on the part of many people in the UMMC research mission who have been involved in its planning and design and the shepherding of its actual creation,” said Dr. Richard Summers, associate vice chancellor for research.
“It is our challenge and responsibility as UMMC researchers to fulfill the promise implicit in the foundations of this building,” he said.
The TRC will house the Gertrude C. Ford MIND Research Center, the John D. Bower School of Population Health, the Neuro Institute, the Technology Transfer Office and research support areas. Each entity aligns with the goals of translational research.
Dr. LouAnn Woodward, vice chancellor for health affairs and UMMC’s top executive, defines translational research as “translating scientific discovery into treatments and cures.”
“Effective treatments and cures are what our world desperately needs, and what many of you are so passionate about,” she said. “Today, UMMC research is more powerful than ever, and we’re contributing to this quest in important ways.”
Woodward thanked the project’s sponsors, donors and leaders, especially Senator Thad Cochran, who supported a $19.8 million award from the National Institute of Standards and Technology to help fund the project.
“Senator Cochran has been instrumental in bringing so many projects to Mississippi that have improved our state. This Translational Research Center is one more,” Woodward said.
With its official opening, the building’s tenants include established and new parts of the UMMC research mission.
The research operation of the MIND Center, the Medical Center’s unit devoted to the study and care of neurocognitive dementia, including Alzheimer’s, moved into the Translational Research Center first floor earlier this fall.
“This new space marks an important milestone for us in our mission to accelerate the pace of discovery in our work on Alzheimer’s and related diseases,” said Dr. Tom Mosley, Dudley and Robbie Hughes Distinguished MIND Center Chair and professor of geriatrics.
The facility includes clinic space for patients involved in clinical trials and research, as well as offices designed for faculty and administrators to collaborate more easily, Mosley said.
“To take advantage of these advances requires more than a single scientist working in isolation in a single lab,” Mosley said. “The pace and scope of discovery is too vast. It requires teams of collaborators.”
The School of Population Health will move onto the building’s second and fifth floors in 2019.