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Arthur S. Levine, M.D.

University of Pittsburgh Holds Topping-Off Ceremony for BST3

Final piece of structural steel hoisted into place on the $205M, 10-story research facility

PITTSBURGH, May 17, 2004 The final steel support beam for the University of Pittsburgh's Biomedical Science Tower 3 (BST3) was hoisted into place today during a topping-off ceremony. The ceremony marked the approximate halfway point in construction of the university's $205 million, 10-story biomedical research facility.

Today, we are putting the last steel beam in place on our third Biomedical Science Tower. This major new project is a literal and figurative demonstration of Pitt's commitment to reach new heights in education and research, advance the cause of human health and foster regional economic development, said University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg. It also is a great example of Pittsburgh institutions partnering to foster progress even as we move through challenging times. We are deeply grateful to the DSF Charitable Foundation, the Scaife Family Foundation, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse for their extraordinarily generous support.

As the 8th ranked institution in the United States funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the University of Pittsburgh has a strong history of attracting top-tier scientists and producing groundbreaking research. The completion of the BST3 will allow the university to expand their recruitment of world-renowned scientists and directly support the development of drug therapies, vaccines, regenerative medicine and other potential cures and preventive strategies that will improve both the quality and duration of human life.

With more than 330,000 square feet of research space, the building will be equipped with open labs, procedure rooms, conference areas and office space that will house 50 research groups comprising more than 500 scientists, students and staff.

Space within the facility has been engineered to facilitate coordinated research through open labs that provide maximum versatility, efficient space utilization and opportunities for interaction among investigators. It is hoped that this interaction will enhance the quality and accelerate the speed of research with the goal of advancing scientific understanding and improving the human condition.

BST3 provides a scaffold for a new way of thinking about the process of science, said Arthur S. Levine, M.D., senior vice chancellor for the health sciences, and dean of the School of Medicine. In every detail, the building has been designed to foster collaborations among researchers from multiple disciplines who share common challenges. Cell biologists, computational scientists, bioengineers, molecular biologists, structural biologists, and chemists might have different habits of mind, different approaches to problems, and different technologies, but the culture of contemporary research will require them to work closely together. The design of this space will make that interaction as natural as breathing.

Research centers to be housed in the BST3 include: the Center for Structural Biology, Center for Computational Biology, Center for Genomics and Proteomics, Center for Drug Discovery, Center for Vaccine Research in Biodefense and Emerging Infections, and the Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases (PIND).

BST3 establishes a world class facility in Pittsburgh that is the equivalent of any facility in the world and will be a key driver in accelerating the growth of Pittsburghs technology-based life sciences economy, said Doros Platika, president and chief operating officer of the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse.

Located along Fifth Avenue, between Lothrop and Darragh streets, BST3 is connected to adjoining University of Pittsburgh research facilities and UPMC clinical facilities, as well as the medical schools Scaife Hall. Construction of BST3 began in the spring of 2003. The first phase of construction will be finished in spring 2005, and the entire project is expected to be completed by winter 2005.

PIND is supported by grants from the DSF Charitable Foundation, the Scaife Family Foundation and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC).

Working on the project are architects Payette Associates of Boston and JSA Architects of Pittsburgh, contractor Mascaro/Hunt Joint Venture of Pittsburgh, engineering firm BR+A Consulting Engineers of Boston, and laboratory planner consultant GPR Planners of New York.

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