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Updated 10:00 AM February 13, 2006




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U-M rolls out red carpet at BSRB

As Gov. Jennifer Granholm walked through the entrance to the new Biomedical Science Research Building (BSRB) Feb. 9 at the start of a gala celebrating the facility's opening, she glanced up at a point where two walls of glass come together and made a connection.
Executive VP for Medical Affairs and U-M Health System CEO Dr. Robert Kelch, right, and Medical School Dean Dr. Allen Lichter, center, greet Gov. Jennifer Granholm at a Feb. 9 celebration of the opening of the Biomedical Science Research Building. (Photo by Steve Kuzma Photography)

"The glass on the BSRB comes to a cutting edge. It's really a symbol of where we need to be as a state," she said to more than 300 guests. "This facility is a gift to the state, which hopes to diversify. It is our signature on the books of history. Let's go forth and write some amazing chapters."

Highlights of the evening included addresses by Granholm, President Mary Sue Coleman, Board of Regents Chair Andrea Fischer Newman and architect Todd Schliemann of Polshek Partnership. Thomas Cech, winner of the 1989 Nobel Prize for Chemistry and president of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, delivered the keynote lecture.

Coleman focused her remarks on the people of Michigan and what they bring the to enterprise. "These buildings are merely vessels for our most important resource—intellectual talent—and they are specifically intended to help that talent grow and thrive and spread," she said.

Medical School Dean Allen Lichter said, "The BSRB is the embodiment of our aspiration to stay on the cutting edge of research. Thank you to the 27 departments and many others who collaborated to make this building possible."

The recently completed Biomedical Science Research Building, above, features a five-story atrium surrounding the front of the facility and lab space for research in molecular imaging, nanotechnology, regenerative medicine and gerontology. (Photo by Steve Kuzma Photography) The atrium, below, was named the Gilbert S. Omenn Atrium after the internal medicine and human genetics professor who, along with wife, Martha Darling, recently made a gift to support work in the building. U-M will host an open house for the University community later this spring. (Photo by Gregory Fox Photography)

Dr. Gilbert Omenn, professor of internal medicine and human genetics, and professor in the School of Public Health, and his wife, Martha Darling, were recognized for their recent gift to support the work of the BSRB. The building's soaring five-story atrium has been named the Gilbert S. Omenn Atrium.

"What better way to recognize a man whose life has been devoted to advancing science and medicine than by naming this beautiful atrium in his honor," said Dr. Robert Kelch, executive vice president for medical affairs and U-M Health System CEO.

The BSRB is located on a full-block site bounded by Huron Street, Glen Avenue, Ann Street and Zina Pitcher Place. Labs are organized along research themes, such as molecular imaging, nanotechnology, regenerative medicine and gerontology, to foster project collaboration and intellectual innovation. The BSRB also features faculty offices, seminar rooms and a large auditorium.

More than 100 investigators are moving into the BSRB through mid-June, with additional space reserved for at least 20 new faculty. An open house for members of the University community and the public is being planned for April or May.

Additional information about the BSRB is available at:

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