The first building at the Science + Technology Park at Johns
Hopkins, a key component of a massive East Baltimore
revitalization effort, officially opened its doors on Friday
following a dedication ceremony attended by more than 500
Mayor Sheila Dixon, Gov. Martin O'Malley and other prominent
city, state and federal officials joined with developers and
senior Johns Hopkins administrators to dedicate the John G.
Rangos Sr. Building, a 278,000-square-foot research facility
located at 855 N. Wolfe St., just north of the Johns Hopkins
medical campus. The event also honored the vision and
philanthropy of the building's namesake, a Pittsburgh
businessman, who was honored at the festive event.
Johns Hopkins is the anchor tenant and is leasing one-third
of the space in the building, which is the new home for the
School of Medicine's Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences.
The remaining space will be leased to private biotech
Faculty and staff from Johns Hopkins have already begun to
The Rangos Building is the first of five state-of-the-art
life sciences facilities planned for the project by the
Forest City-New East Baltimore Partnership.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski said that the day was a momentous and
happy one for the community. She recalled the days when she
worked as a social worker in the area and spoke of the great
opportunity to capitalize on Johns Hopkins' presence in East
Baltimore to reinvigorate the tract from the medical campus
to North Avenue. The Science + Technology Park at Johns
Hopkins, she said, is a vital first step to achieve that
"This is the beginning of the new East Baltimore," Mikulski
said. "It is a beginning of many other great things to
Gov. O'Malley similarly called it a joyful day.
"What we see in these blocks are not just bricks and mortar.
What is happening here is the expression of the soul of a
great American city," he said.
Stephen Desiderio, director of the Institute for Basic
Biomedical Sciences, said that the new facility would marry
resources with ideas, and science with industry.
"This wonderful new facility is built on the simple idea of
collaboration — to bring together the efforts of those
with diverse skills and common interests," said Desiderio, a
professor of molecular biology and genetics. "It also renews
an enduring partnership between the School of Medicine and
the community of which it is part."
Myron "Mike" Weisfeldt, William Osler Professor of Medicine
and physician in chief at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, said in
an interview before the dedication that it's very notable to
have such a cutting-edge facility dedicated to traditional
basic science research. Roughly 200 university investigators
will use the space to conduct transitional research on human
diseases such as cancer, kidney disease, HIV and hepatitis
"To my knowledge, this is the first time Johns Hopkins has
put a significant chunk of basic scientists from the clinical
departments [together] with true basic scientists who are
working on the most recent discoveries," he said.
The new building, Weisfeldt said, will spur technology
transfer and serve "as a raft" for small companies, spinoffs
and industry people who will lease space there.
"Industry people and clinicians will literally share the same
conference rooms, lunch room and hallways," he said. "They
will talk to each other, collaborate. And hopefully this will
make for a productive, entrepreneurial environment. This is
what really convinced the donor, Mr. Rangos — the might
of American industry side by side with the development of
practical medical treatments."
John G. Rangos Sr., a pioneer of technological advances in
the field of waste transportation and disposal, is head of
the John G. Rangos Sr. Family Charitable Foundation, an
organization that has funded institutions such as the Rangos
Research Center and Rangos-Trucco Diabetes Laboratory at
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and the Rangos School of
Health and Sciences at Duquesne University.
In support of medical research at Johns Hopkins, the Rangos
Foundation has committed $10 million to the Institute for
Basic Biomedical Sciences to underwrite its use of the space.
In 2003, Rangos established a professorship in the School of
Medicine's Division of Gastroenterology.
"John Rangos' generosity and commitment to science and the
community have ensured the kind of collaborative environment
necessary to foster scientific and medical advances," said
Edward D. Miller, dean of the School of Medicine and chief
executive officer of Johns Hopkins Medicine, before the
event. "We are honored by his contributions and pleased that
the first building in this new enterprise will carry his
In addition to Johns Hopkins, BioMarker Strategies, the
Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Cangen Biotechnologies
have already leased space in the building and plan to take
occupancy this spring. The companies will all have access to
the use of sophisticated research equipment located on the
Johns Hopkins campus. It is anticipated that the companies
and businesses in the park will bring 4,000 new jobs to the
The Science + Technology Park at Johns Hopkins is part of an
ambitious mixed-use development program in the area. East
Baltimore Development Inc. has spearheaded and manages the
$1.8 billion revitalization of the "New East Side," an
88-acre portion of East Baltimore. The first phase of
development plans for the area include the 1.1
million-square-foot Science + Technology Park, more than 850
housing units for mixed-income buyers and renters, park space
and a variety of retail services.
University President William R. Brody said that the Rangos
Building is a result of numerous partnerships and great
resolve on the part of its champions.
"So many people contributed to make this happen, but I want
to especially thank John Rangos for his generous gift," Brody
said. "John, on behalf of The Johns Hopkins University and
everyone in the community, please accept our thanks,
gratitude and our most sincere appreciation for your