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Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

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Above: Julie Gleason of the Culotta Lab shows off new equipment during a tour of the North Wing

Investing in Infrastructure

A comment from Pierre A. Coulombe, E.V. McCollum Professor and Chair, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 

On Sept. 24, as part of alumni week, the Bloomberg School of Public Health (BSPH) held a special event to mark the completion of major, and transformative, renovations to the North Wing sector of the BSPH building.

This 3-year effort included a much needed overhaul of the building infrastructure in the North Wing section of BSPH (ventilation, electricity, etc.), and provided an opportunity to completely re-design the laboratory research space it houses. This massive project was made possible by a large government-funded ARRA grant in the amount of $16 million dollars, secured in 2009, with a further $9 million dollars of generous matching funds provided by the school. Of note, the project was completed ahead of schedule thanks to the adept leadership of the Dean’s office working with Facilities, participating departments, their faculty, trainees, and staff. 

BMB directly benefited from this renovation – indeed, the 3rd and 8th floors of the North Wing are now endowed with state-of-the-art research laboratories. BMB opted for an open space concept for these newly rebuilt laboratories, a design that promotes collaborations between researchers, facilitates the sharing of equipment and ideas, and enables the dynamic management of space given changes in opportunities and needs along time.

In addition to the North Wing, additional space in BMB has been renovated in the course of the last five years – in fact, close to 40% of the square footage dedicated to laboratory research in BMB has been gutted and overhauled in the last five years alone. The department is deeply grateful to the School and its leadership for making such an investment, and to its faculty, trainees and staff for their input and patience during these renovations. Much remains to be done to help us stay competitive, and we're hoping to access the resources needed, big and small, in the near future.

Such an investment in laboratory research infrastructure is timely, given that BMB has recruited as many as nine new faculty members over the last six years, with an additional faculty recruitment effort underway. I invite you to find out about these talented newcomers, and develop an appreciation for the extraordinary impact they have already had on BMB’s long-standing record of excellence in research and teaching. Better yet, set aside the time to visit us at the School – we’d love an opportunity to showcase our facilities and have you interact with our faculty, students and staff.

With warm regards,

Pierre Coulombe 
E.V. McCollum Professor and Chair