Proposal to expand research facilities at College of Medicine moves forward


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Finance, Business, and Capital Planning Committee of the Penn State Board of Trustees has advanced a $37.3 million initiative to renovate and expand Penn State College of MedicineComparative Medicine Facilities Today (September 22). The full board will consider the proposal on September 23.

For the past two years, the College of Medicine has been the first externally funded college at Penn State. Most of the multi-year scholarships the college holds come from a mix of federal, association, and industry programs — worth more than $70 million — and draw on the facilities for comparative medicine, where model organisms are used to study cancer, aging, infectious diseases, substance use disorders and other health issues. The proposed renovation and expansion plan will modernize these research spaces and improve adult and pediatric cancer research capacity, in addition to supporting a variety of research into the causes and treatments of other medical conditions.

“The Board’s support for this initiative recognizes the College of Medicine’s continued growth as a premier destination for biomedical and health sciences research in the region,” said Ronald Wilson, professor and director of the Department of Comparative Medicine. “This project will provide our faculty, staff and students with the ability to improve human health through research in modern, state-of-the-art facilities.

The College of Medicine secured $12.2 million in funding to support this project from Four Diamonds to expand pediatric cancer research and $5 million in funding from the Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Program. The project is expected to begin this fall and be completed by mid-2024, using plans developed by HDR Inc. of Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

The project includes the renovation of approximately 11,000 square feet of existing research space and the addition of 18,700 square feet of new space. The project will upgrade imaging facilities and establish the first germ-free research facility on campus, which is critical to supporting the college’s microbiome research initiative. Additionally, the project will increase the college’s ability to develop implantable devices and become a leader in translational research, as set out in the college’s strategic plan.


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