The opening next month of the
County Campus' third building will represent a
significant milestone for a university that will now be
"fully engaged in securing a Hopkins-quality, significant
research presence" on that campus, according to Gary
Ostrander, associate provost for research at Johns
The 16-year-old Rockville, Md., campus, Ostrander
said, is poised to become a fertile ground for
opportunities for collaboration among the university,
federal research labs and the private sector.
"We are looking to collaborate and build something
unique down there," he said. "Much in the same way that the
campus provides inroads for the community to Johns Hopkins,
the campus can also provide inroads for Johns Hopkins to
the federal labs and researchers in that area."
In every facet, the research activity at Montgomery
County Campus will be designed to complement, not replace,
any efforts at other university campuses, said Ostrander,
who recently relinquished his duties as vice dean for
research in the School of Arts and Sciences in order to
devote more time to overseeing the development of the
Montgomery County Campus. He now divides his time between
his duties there and within university central
administration and the School of Arts and Sciences. His
office remains on the Homewood campus.
In addition to bringing much-needed classroom and
academic space to the Montgomery County Campus, the new
115,000-square-foot Building III will include space to be
leased to non-JHU tenants — primarily science- and
technology-related companies, agencies or organizations
— with which Johns Hopkins will establish academic,
research or other collaborations, an effort that Ostrander
said is already under way.
In April, CBH Research, a community-based, private
sector clinical research organization, signed a 12-year
lease for 18,414 square feet in Building III. CBH was
established to promote clinical research as an important
part of the approach toward understanding and treating
The university has also opened on the campus an
Integrated Imaging Center for live cell imaging. The
center, whose director is Gary Brooker, a research
professor in the Krieger School's Department of Biology,
provides a variety of advanced and specialized light and
fluorescence microscopic facilities and services that play
an important role in research and discovery.
Ostrander said that there are 19 federal labs in and
around Montgomery County, including the National Institutes
of Health and the Food and Drug Administration, and more
than 60 biotech companies of various sizes in the immediate
area. "And a lot of these companies and labs are interested
in partnering with Johns Hopkins in a very meaningful way,"
he said. "We are in the process of working out details to
bring a real research presence to the campus. That is what
we will be focused on, going further."
He said the university is currently in negotiations
with several biotech companies to lease space in Building
III and forge partnerships with the university. In
addition, Hopkins has identified several scientists who
have significant funding from the National Institutes of
Health and the National Science Foundation and are
interested in setting up lab space at the campus and
teaching in the more than 60 degree and certificate
programs offered there.
Opened in 1988, the Montgomery County Campus is
located in the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center along the
Interstate 270 corridor, a hotbed of biotechnology and
information technology research. Its day and evening
classes, which annually attract more than 5,000 students,
are offered by the Krieger School of Arts
and Sciences, the
Whiting School of Engineering, the School of Professional
Studies in Business and Education and the Johns Hopkins
Bloomberg School of Public
Building III is the latest piece of the planned total
buildout of the 35-acre site. Features of the new building
include wet labs, computer labs, meeting space and a
larger, 1,000-square-foot campus bookstore.
The master plan of the campus includes expansion over
the next 10 years to seven buildings totaling 700,000
square feet of academic and research space.
Ostrander said that planning for construction on a
fourth building will begin sometime after Building III is
fully leased, which could happen in the next few weeks or
The physical expansion of the campus will allow the
university to offer even more graduate degree programs,
many of which help to train employees of biotechnology
companies in the immediate area.
Elaine Amir, director of the Montgomery County Campus,
said that an increased research and business presence on
the campus undoubtedly will bring in new faculty and new
"There also will be more opportunity for collaborative
partnerships [and] internships with our researchers and
businesses," Amir said. "We do expect the course offerings
to expand and enrollments to increase because more people
will be drawn to a campus that has so much intellectual
activity going on, on a daily basis."
Ostrander said that university officials are looking
into the feasibility of allowing graduate students on a
doctoral track at other JHU campuses to work with faculty
who will be in the Montgomery Campus labs, an arrangement
that would be similar to the one that allows students to
conduct research work at the NIH.
As for future Johns Hopkins academic programs and
research opportunities, "we encourage all the divisions to
consider the Montgomery County Campus if they are looking
to develop things in the D.C. area," Ostrander said.