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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Construction begins on UMC Phoenix campus

    PHOENIX – As the historical Phoenix Union High School buildings finish their exhaustive renovations to become the new home for the UA College of Medicine, construction of a key facility for research on the UA College of Medicine’s Phoenix campus has started.

    Construction of the Arizona Biomedical Collaborative building started two weeks ago and is expected to be completed in spring 2007.

    The $17.2 million, 85,600-square-foot building, which will be shared by the UA and ASU, is the first public building dedicated to research in Phoenix.

    The ABC building will house the ASU Department of Biomedical Informatics and wet lab space for the UA College of Medicine for diabetes, neurological and cancer research.

    Susan Guthrie, a spokeswoman for the College of Medicine Phoenix campus, said the new ABC building will eventually house eight full-time UA faculty members and provide them with crucial research space.

    She said the new faculty members, whom the UA hopes to have on staff this summer, are expected to bring with them millions of dollars in research grants.

    “”It’s important to get them on board quickly,”” Guthrie said.

    In addition to eight full-time faculty members the UA will hire, the UA is expected to hire 6 faculty members who will be shared with ASU. These six joint appointees, Guthrie said, will cost the UA the equivalent of two full-time employees.

    The Phoenix campus is already home to approximately 90 third- and fourth-year UA medical students who participate in clinical rotations at several Phoenix-area hospitals. Clinical rotations in Phoenix-area hospitals for UA students started in 1992.

    The completion of the Phoenix Union High School buildings will allow UA medical students to attend all four years of medical school in Phoenix rather than splitting their studies between Phoenix and Tucson.

    The buildings, constructed in 1912, will house state-of-the-art exam rooms, classrooms and a telemedicine center.

    Guthrie said the first full four-year class will start in July 2007, with enrollment limited to 24 students taking first-year medical courses. The following year 24 more students will be allowed into the program as the first class starts taking its second-year courses.

    She said the program will eventually be home to 150 students, which is more than the current size of the Tucson campus.

    President Peter Likins said while the initial class size of 24 may be small, it allows the UA to build a top-notch program.

    “”We have always known it would start with 24 students,”” said Likins.

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