The University of North Texas Health Science Center on Tuesday broke ground on the first new research facility at the university in more than a dozen years, an effort to dedicate brick-and-mortar resources to team-based healthcare.
The Interdisciplinary Research and Education Building will be five stories and 53,000 square feet, including a 3,000 square foot lab with a medical clinic and learning center. The school is paying for the new building with an $80 million grant from the Texas Legislature, spearheaded by state Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, and Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth. It was part of a $3.1 billion package approved by Gov. Greg Abbott and sent to more than 50 universities to pay for new construction projects. Officials hope to open the facility in 2018.
The multidisciplinary research center will bring together the school’s College of Pharmacy, the North Texas Eye Research Institute, and the Institute for Molecular and Therapeutic Development.
“We’re building a model of team-based health care for Fort Worth,” read a statement from Myron Jacobson, PhD, dean of the College of Pharmacy. “The layout of the education and research spaces in this building is designed to foster active, team-based learning.”
The UNTHSC has more than doubled its research funding since 2004, the last time it opened a new building on campus. The new center comes as the school works with TCU to design its new MD track, as well as a $4 million project to go toward research best practices and cutting down on medical errors. In late 2017, the school will launch its Institute for Patient Safety, as well.
Since 2004, spokesman Jeff Carlton said the university has boosted its research funding from $18 million annually to $40 million. The project is a collaboration between the University of North Texas System, Vaughn Construction, and Treanor Architects.