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Assisi Foundation Gift Will Create BioHUB Research Facility at U of M

Contact: Gabrielle Maxey

June 3, 2014 - The Assisi Foundation of Memphis has awarded a $1.5 million lead grant to the University of Memphis for construction of the BioHUB, a new bioscience research building that will create a multidisciplinary space where students, scientists and researchers can collaborate and produce ground-breaking developments. 

“The University is increasingly being recognized as one of America’s great metropolitan research universities,” said President M. David Rudd. “Our faculty members are engaged in exciting, cutting-edge research — research that has a profound impact on the lives of those in Memphis, the state of Tennessee and across the globe. This facility is an essential part of our effort to grow research capacity to $100 million over the next decade.”

The BioHUB will provide modern facilities to support research in biologic and biochemical research, biomaterial and biodevice development, and behavioral neuroscience research. 

For more than a decade, the BioHUB has been an essential part of the University’s Campus Master Plan and is a crucial element of its accreditation in 2015. The state-of-the-art facility will promote advanced, collaborative research, post-baccalaureate training and undergraduate education.

The two-story, 68,500-sq. ft. BioHUB will be located along the eastern edge of the main campus, close to existing laboratories and easily accessible to off-campus industry collaborators. 

The BioHUB will provide a four-fold increase in facility capacity and will allow high-performing graduate students and renowned research faculty to better partner with local and national scientists to advance current responses to a number of diseases and disorders that affect society. 

The first floor will feature centralized animal facilities: cubicle housing (both barrier and quarantine), conventional housing, a surgical suite, animal care support space, and general support space for the animal facilities staff. 

The second floor will employ a modularized, flexible laboratory design that advances existing research and maximizes the potential for interdisciplinary research and collaboration, including: the investigation of issues tied to understanding Alzheimer’s Disease, cancer, Schizophrenia, Parkinson’s Disease , Autism Spectrum Disorders and other conditions that will lead to therapeutic treatments; the advancement of tissue and bone regeneration research and “smart” orthopedic implants that will allow soldiers wounded in combat to return to more normal lives; and a focus on addictions research and sensor-based interventions – and even prevention strategies – for patients who suffer from anxiety and other emotional disorders.

The BioHUB will support the University’s planned growth in biomedical and behavioral science research, resulting in an influx of additional federally funded research to West Tennessee, and will allow the University to compete more effectively in the recruitment of highly qualified faculty, postdoctoral associates, graduate students and undergraduates. 

The total project cost of $36 million includes construction, non-movable equipment and furnishing expenses. In addition to the lead grant from the Assisi Foundation, the state of Tennessee and the University have committed $2 million in pre- and full-planning funding for this project. To move forward to the construction phase, the University needs to secure an additional $6.5 million by the end of this year in order to qualify for $26 million in matching support from the state. The construction phase is estimated to last 14 months and will conclude with an additional two-month move-in period for furnishings and personnel.

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Last Updated: 4/15/15