$10 Million for Basic Research
The Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences at The Johns Hopkins University has received a commitment of $10 million from the John G. Rangos Sr. Family Charitable Foundation for basic science research in the new life sciences park in East Baltimore.
Announcement of the gift coincides with the ceremonial groundbreaking today for what will be called "the Science + Technology Park at Johns Hopkins," part of an 80-acre urban redevelopment just north of the Hopkins medical campus. The $800 million overall project, under the direction of East Baltimore Development Inc., will also include housing, retail stores, other business, and services for the community.
The university will be the anchor tenant in the first building of the life sciences park. IBBS, bolstered by the Rangos Foundation gift, will occupy the largest share of the university's space in that building, which will be named the John G. Rangos Sr. Building.
"The Rangos family truly understands that the success of medicine depends on a solid foundation of basic science research," says Edward D. Miller, M.D., dean of the medical faculty and chief executive officer of Johns Hopkins Medicine. "This commitment will help Johns Hopkins advance in the basic sciences."
William R. Brody, president of The Johns Hopkins University, said the Rangos Family Foundation gift would have even broader implications. "Johns Hopkins is committed, with many other dedicated partners, to ensuring the revitalization of East Baltimore," Brody said. "John Rangos' extraordinary gift will help create breakthroughs in medical science. And with today's groundbreaking, we are assuring that those advances will take place in a building that, in itself, will be part of a breakthrough in the life of this community."
University labs and offices will occupy 100,000 square feet in the Rangos Building, to be built at 855 N. Wolfe St. by Forest City-New East Baltimore Partnership, a joint venture of Forest City Enterprises and Baltimore-based Presidential Partners LLC. The building will carry a plaque summarizing Rangos' commitment to the basic scientific research that precedes clinical medical advances. The inscription will say, "A building to combine the strength of industry with basic medical science to improve human health."
John G. Rangos Sr., 76, of Pittsburgh, is the founder and former CEO of Chambers Development Inc., an environmental and waste management company. He is known for years of philanthropic and civic involvement. In addition to heading the Rangos Family Foundation, he is now a trustee of the Leukemia Society, the Pittsburgh Opera, Carnegie Mellon University, Duquesne University, the Carnegie Science Center and Children's Hospital. He has previously funded an endowed chair in the Department of Medicine and is a member of the Johns Hopkins Medicine Board of Visitors.
"This generous gift from the Rangos Family Foundation will allow us to embark on a new way of doing science here at Hopkins, in which investigators from different departments and disciplines are brought together to tackle some of the most important unsolved problems in biology and medicine," said Stephen Desiderio, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences. "This model for research will harness the powerful potential of collaboration and provide rich opportunities for basic scientists to work side-by-side with investigators from clinical departments."
"This will be a unique building," said Myron L. Weisfeldt, M.D., director of the Department of Medicine at Johns Hopkins, which also will have a presence in the Rangos Building. "In it, the best basic scientists, disease-oriented basic researchers from my department and industry scientists will all be striving together to improve human health. The single building will unquestionably enhance communication and create a unique community that does not exist to my knowledge in any other academic biotech park."
IBBS is forming interdisciplinary and interdepartmental research groups in four key scientific areas. The John G. Rangos Sr. Building will house offices and labs in the new centers, which will focus on epigenetics, sensory biology, cell dynamics, and metabolism and obesity research.
IBBS was created in 2000 to bring together the School of Medicine's eight basic science departments: Biological Chemistry, Biomedical Engineering, Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry, Molecular Biology and Genetics, Molecular Cell Biology, Neuroscience, Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences and Physiology.
The gift is part of the Johns Hopkins: Knowledge for the World campaign, bringing total commitments to more than $2.15 billion. Priorities of the campaign, which benefits both The Johns Hopkins University and The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System, include strengthening endowment for student aid and faculty support; advancing research, academic and clinical initiatives; and building and upgrading facilities on all campuses. The campaign began in July 2000 and is scheduled to end in 2007.
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