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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    BIO5 opens to public

    President Robert Shelton, left, and Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup compare notes before speaking Friday afternoon at the BIO5 building dedication ceremony.
    President Robert Shelton, left, and Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup compare notes before speaking Friday afternoon at the BIO5 building dedication ceremony.

    Hundreds were in attendance Friday at the opening of the $66 million BIO5 building, a research center that has raised high hopes for collaboration and scientific breakthroughs.

    The Thomas W. Keating Bioresearch building, also known as BIO5, is meant to provide an environment that facilitates research collaboration among different fields of science, said Katie Riley, associate director of public affairs.

    “”We’re past the place where people are working in silos,”” Riley said. “”They expect that inventions and discoveries that occur in the future are going to happen in an environment where multidisciplines are working together.””

    There are high hopes for the accomplishments that will result from the collaborative environment in the building, said President Robert Shelton.

    The building has state-of-the-art labs and “”open, airy floor plans”” that are meant to foster interaction, Shelton said.

    “”Watch as our faculty battles that 100-headed monster called cancer,”” Shelton said. “”And get ready for a world of personalized medication.””

    More research space is a large benefit of the new building, said Michael Cusanovich, director of Arizona Research Laboratories and a regents professor of biochemistry.

    “”The building allows us to be more proximal to the medical school,”” Cusanovich said. “”I expect some good science to go on here.””

    A unique quality about the BIO5 building is that it will mostly be occupied by students who are doing research, said Riley.

    “”Students will outnumber faculty and staff,”” Shelton said about the building, which will accommodate 350 researchers.

    William Bevins, an economics senior who works with the Arizona Research Laboratories, said the building will help the continuation of cutting-edge science the UA is known for.

    “”BIO5 is breaking barriers of interdisciplinary bioscience,”” Bevins said. “”Collaboration is easier; no one has to go across campus for resources.””

    The five areas of collaboration are agriculture, medicine, pharmacy, basic science and engineering.

    Bridgette Decot, a linguistics senior, said in order to get further in science, researchers need a broad base of knowledge in more than one field of science.

    “”People can bounce ideas off to one another,”” Decot said. “”Interdisciplinary research already takes place. The building will just facilitate it.””

    The BIO5 building was funded primarily by the state Legislature and significant donations from the community, Riley said.

    “”Leaders from across the state have come for this milestone,”” Shelton said, including Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup and members of the Arizona Legislature and the Arizona Board of Regents.

    Construction on the BIO5 building began in October 2003.

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