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Health and Biomedical Sciences Center Breaks Ground at UH

Facility Designed to Foster Interdisciplinary Collaborations.

HBS buildingHealth research at UH is reaching new heights — six stories worth, to be exact.

The new, six-story, 167,000-square-foot Health and Biomedical Sciences Center, under construction since November, will place researchers from different colleges and departments together under one roof in an effort to foster unique opportunities for collaboration and pave the way for creative health research.

The center is designed to facilitate collaboration across neuropsychology and neuroscience, measurement and statistics, biology and biochemistry, biomedical engineering, pharmacy, optometry, computer science and computational physiology. The facility will be a key clinical, educational and interdisciplinary research structure, offering interactive facilities similar to the kinds of work environments students will experience when they graduate.

"The center will be a truly integrated crossdisciplinary research facility that will incorporate researchers from the colleges of Optometry, Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Engineering, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Pharmacy," said David Francis (M.A. '84, Ph.D. '85), director of the Texas Institute for Measurement Evaluation and Statistics and a Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor. "It goes beyond traditional colleges working together."

Bringing together researchers across various areas of expertise in the same physical location will create opportunities for them to better interact while working on related projects. The new research facilities in HBSC also will strengthen UH investigators' ties to counterparts and institutions in the Texas Medical Center and enable collaborations across organizations throughout the nation to the benefit of UH students and faculty, as well as to the residents of Houston and the state of Texas.

"With the new facility, we will offer expanded services to our patients, create enhanced educational experiences for our students and establish important research collaborations with other scientists that will ultimately impact vision and its care for future generations," said Earl Smith ('72, M.S. '75, Ph.D. '78), College of Optometry dean and Greeman-Petty Professor.

This article was originally published in the University of Houston Magazine, Winter 2010 issue.

—Lisa Merkl