DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant):
This application, in the amount of $3 million, requests funds to renovate four laboratories in the West Basic Sciences Center and to construct an annex to the center. This new two-story 12,948 sq. ft. addition will house three additional laboratories, three faculty offices, and miscellaneous support space. The new construction and renovation proposed in this project is designed to consolidate several investigators from disparate locations into modern laboratories group in clusters based on experimental approach. The investigators expect the productivity of this multidisciplinary group to dramatically increase as the result of: 1) enhanced methodological expertise by physically clustering laboratories; 2) improved mentoring interactions between junior and senior faculty; and 3) greater access to research support services and core facilities. The project will also replace an inadequate research facility. Currently, neuroscience research and research training activities are centered in the Biomedical Sciences Building, a single story facility constructed in 1970 that is no longer suited for state-of-the-art
research. The building is at maximum capacity and is in need of extensive renovation in order to meet current building code standards. The College's facility master plan, prepared by the architectural firm of Gresham, Smith and Partners, rated the building as unsatisfactory and recommends its eventual demolition. This application is consistent with, and supports, MMC's strategic efforts to: 1) increase the productivity and competitiveness of investigators through strengthening of the College's research infrastructure; 2) augment and strengthen the College's overall research capacity and expertise through the development of a select number focused thematic interdisciplinary research centers; and 3) increase the number of basic and clinically trained minority research scientists.