September 1, 2008 -- The University of Texas at Austin has dedicated a new $55 million biomedical engineering building, which is being touted as a world-class facility for interdisciplinary research and collaboration in biomedical engineering, pharmacy and natural sciences.
The 141,000-square-foot, six-story laboratory and research building houses nine optics labs built two stories underground to minimize the effects of vibration. A dozen wet labs, eight tissue-culture rooms, several dry labs and four computational labs also exist for medical research. The new facility's location creates a "front door" to the life sciences complex that includes the Neural & Molecular Science Building, the Louise and James Robert Moffett Molecular Biology Building and the future Experimental Science Building and the College of Pharmacy buildings.
The building will house classrooms, research laboratories and administrative offices of the Biomedical Engineering Department. In addition, the College of Natural Sciences and the College of Pharmacy will each occupy one floor, providing interdisciplinary strength to the already stellar department.
"We will see breakthroughs by these researchers in medical imaging, nerve regeneration, cancer detection and treatment, drug synthesis and delivery, and countless other areas," said Ben Streetman, dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering. "The building will also host work in pharmacy and natural sciences to provide interdisciplinary strength to these programs. We have one of the best biomedical engineering faculties in the country, and now these talented people will be able to work in one of the finest facilities devoted to biomedical teaching and research."
Kenneth Diller, biomedical engineering chairman, says the work done in this new building will have a direct impact on saving lives and improving the quality of life for people who have cancer, glaucoma, diabetes, Alzheimer's and other diseases.