A $15 million federal stimulus grant will create 250 jobs on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, the University of Arizona announced Monday. The competitive grant, awarded by the National Institutes of Health to the UA College of Medicine-Phoenix in partnership with Arizona State University, will enable construction of a 22,000-square-foot laboratory support facility to serve researchers on the Biomedical Campus.
“This grant will allow us to build a shared resource facility supporting all the great life-saving research going on at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus,” said William Crist, UA’s vice president for health affairs. “The NIH has acknowledged that our research in cardiovascular, cancer, and neurological areas is critical to the development of the biomedical campus.”
Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon described the NIH grant as an important next step toward building out the Biomedical Campus, which besides the medical school includes the Translational Genomics Research Institute, the International Genomics Consortium, Caris/MPI, and several ASU and UA research units.
“It is truly gratifying to see the federal government recognize the development of the Phoenix Biomedical Campus by bestowing us with this grant,” Gordon said. “We have great hopes for the scientists and students on our downtown campus to change our lives with their work.”
Robert Green, president and CEO of the Arizona BioIndustry Association, called the award an affirmation of the state’s efforts to leverage partnerships in the biosciences.
“The recently awarded $15 million stimulus grant to the College of Medicine-Phoenix by the National Institutes of Health is testimony that not only is this collaborative spirit working here in Arizona, but that it is nationally recognized and supported,” Green said in the Phoenix Business Journal.
UA estimates that the laboratory support facility will support 33 permanent research jobs beyond the 250 designers, engineers, and construction workers who will be employed during the facility’s construction. The initial economic impact of the project is estimated at $27 million, with an ultimate return on investment of seven times the initial cost, UA said in a statement.
Plans for the newly funded facility were approved in December by the Arizona Board of Regents at the same time that it authorized plans for the Health Sciences Education Building (HSEB), a 268,000-square-foot facility that will help the College of Medicine expand to 120 students per year. Unlike the laboratory support facility, which could see construction begin almost immediately, the HSEB project remains on hold pending a long-sought review by the Arizona Legislature’s Joint Committee on Capital Review (JCCR). Consideration by the JCCR is a mandatory precursor for issuing bonds and beginning construction.
Along with increasing the enrollment capacity of the College of Medicine, an essential step toward easing Arizona’s severe physician shortage, construction of the HSEB project would allow for larger cohorts of students on the Biomedical Campus from UA’s College of Pharmacy and ASU’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation. Northern Arizona University’s Allied Health program would also be able to train students on the campus.
For more information:
“Phoenix Biomedical Campus Gets $15 Million in Stimulus Funds,” UA news release, 02/01/2010
“Biomedical campus gets $15M stimulus boost,” Phoenix Business Journal, 02/01/2010