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U. of Wisconsin Opens First Building of $600 Million Medical Research Project

September 03, 2008

As many stories in this issue of the Digest point out, academic institutions serve a critical role in performing R&D for the nation’s innovation pipeline. While most of the attention of national policymakers is directed toward the size of federal and industrial investments in R&D, the burden of financing the infrastructure to support much of that research activity falls on states and institutions of higher education. And that burden has a steep price tag.

For instance, in late August, the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Wisconsin-Madison officially opened the first tower of the Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research (WIMR), an estimated $600 million three-tower project which will house 1,500 lab workers by 2015. This first tower is devoted to interdisciplinary work studying cancer, with five floors dedicated to varying fields of cancer research, one floor for core laboratory equipment, one floor of outpatient radiotherapy, and one floor for the medical physics department which will concentrate on medical imaging.

Now under construction, the second tower will concentrate its efforts on cardiovascular disease, neuroscience, regenerative medicine, and molecular medicine research. The third tower will combine scientists from the schools of pharmacy, engineering, and veterinary science.

A detailed floor by floor breakdown of the first tower can be found at: