All the bigwigs will be out in force Friday for the dedication of the University of Minnesota's new Cancer and Cardiovascular Research Building. 

Called the CCRB for short, the new building is the fifth addition to the U's Biomedical Discovery District, a cluster of research-oriented buildings on the East Bank behind TCF Stadium. It joins four others: the Lions Research Building, the McGuire Translational Research Facility, the Winston and Maxine Wallin Medical Biosciences Building and the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research.

So far nearly $300 million has been spent on the district, including $200 million for the CCRB.

The Lillehei Heart Institute and the Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology will relocate up to 25 researchers to the CCRB where they will continue their work in the cardiac regeneration, cardiac development, muscular dystrophy, congenital heart medicine and genomics fields. The groups plan to add nearly four researchers a year to the new building.

The Masonic Cancer Center plans to use the new digs for chemical biologists focusing who study chemical carcinogens as a cause of cancer, and faculty investigating new therapeutic strategies to fight cancer.

“We think of the Biomedical Discovery District as a neighborhood, full of extremely talented investigators,” said Dr. Aaron Friedman, senior vice president of the University’s health sciences and dean of the University of Minnesota Medical School, in a statement. “By bringing them together - and encouraging them to collaborate - we’re facilitating new ideas and approaches to curing some of the world’s most devastating diseases.”

Speakers tomorrow include Friedman, U President Eric Kaler, Regent Linda Cohen, and Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health Ed Ehlinger, as well as Dr. Doug Yee, director of the Masonic Cancer Center and Dr. Dan Garry, executive director of the Lillehei Heart Institute.

In April, I wrote here about the state's competitiveness (or lack thereof) in the medical device and biosciences field.

Janet Moore covers commercial real estate for the Star Tribune.


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