WORCESTER – Jan. 30, 2013 – Governor Deval Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today joined UMass leadership, educators and state and local officials to celebrate the grand opening of the new Albert Sherman Center at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Built in partnership with the University of Massachusetts Building Authority and funded in part with a $90 million grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, investments of this kind are a key component of the Governor’s plan to grow jobs and expand economic opportunity.
“Our investments in education, innovation and infrastructure have come together to support the completion of the Albert Sherman Center here at UMass Medical School,” said Governor Patrick. “This landmark project is a testament to what is possible when we work together to invest in this generation and the next.”
“As we continue to invest in innovation in all regions of the Commonwealth, the Sherman Center at UMass Medical School stands out as a leading research and educational institution not just for Worcester County but for the entire state,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. “We look forward to the tremendous knowledge and growth this institute will lend in finding cures to complex diseases, supporting the medical and life sciences industries, and creating jobs and investment in Massachusetts.”
Named for UMass Medical School’s former vice chancellor for university relations, the Albert Sherman Center has doubled the research capacity of the Worcester campus with 512,000 square feet of interdisciplinary research and education space designed to maximize collaboration among scientists, educators and students across multiple fields. It is the new home of the Advanced Therapeutics Cluster, comprising the RNA Therapeutics Institute, the Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine and the Gene Therapy Center, and contains wet research space for more than 90 investigators. These translational scientists pursue novel bench-to-bedside research in emerging scientific fields with the goal of developing new innovative therapies for diseases ranging from cancer to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and cystic fibrosis.
“The Albert Sherman Center was one of the MLSC’s earliest investments, and at $90 million remains our largest investment to date,” said Susan Windham-Bannister, Ph.D., President & CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. “The advanced therapeutic research that will be housed in this facility will generate promising new treatments as well as spin out new companies. UMMS, the state's first and only public medical school, is a science pioneer and the Center is very pleased to advance their work through this investment. With this investment we also are implementing the Patrick/Murray Administration’s vision to grow the life sciences all across the Commonwealth.”
Last week, Governor Patrick unveiled a budget proposal that includes new investments in education, innovation and infrastructure, areas that have proven to create new jobs and economic opportunities through increased public investments for every part of the Commonwealth. This includes $25 million for the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center in the coming fiscal year to continue their landmark investments in innovation for the life sciences.
Through the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, Massachusetts is investing $1 billion over 10 years in the growth of the state’s life sciences supercluster. These investments are being made under the Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative, proposed by Governor Patrick in 2007, and passed by the State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Patrick in 2008.
“The completion of the Albert Sherman Center is a transformative event in the history of the Commonwealth’s medical school,” said Chancellor Michael F. Collins. “It would be hard to overstate the importance of this new center to our campus, or the positive impact of the work that will go on within it.”
“We are honored and privileged to be part of this ground breaking, collaborative construction effort,” said Peter Campot, Suffolk’s president of Healthcare and Science-Technology and chief innovation officer. “This unique project gave us an opportunity to implement the most innovative planning and construction methods in the industry, including virtual design and construction and six-dimensional facility modeling. These state-of-the-art processes and tools, along with our ‘build smart’ approach to construction management, allowed us to deliver a facility that will set a new standard for biomedical research for generations to come.”