President Obama announced last year the establishment of the BRAIN Initiative—a decade-long, multi-billion dollar effort to map the structure of the brain. IU, through its enormous strengths in the neurosciences, coupled with the renowned research of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at IU Bloomington as well as other research groups such as IU’s new Network Science Institute, is positioned extremely well to be a major contributor to this and other similar initiatives.
From hospital to health sciences campus
The opening of the Neurosciences Research Building is just one part of the physical transformation of IU’s health and medical sciences facilities in Indianapolis. As I described in a previous update, IU is currently working to transform the former Wishard Hospital site, just north of the heart of the IUPUI campus, into a comprehensive health sciences campus, by repurposing and renovating some of the existing buildings on the site, creating additional new facilities and demolishing buildings that are obsolete.
A thorough analysis of the existing facilities on this site is well underway and demolition work is scheduled to begin next spring. When completed, the site will be home to much of IU’s health science activity and will include new initiatives in integrated professional education among all of the health professions, as well as in research and patient care at adjacent hospital complexes.
Included on this campus will be IU’s new Center for Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery, which will be housed in one of the existing buildings at the site with construction scheduled to begin next year. The center, which is being made possible by financial support from the state of Indiana, will capitalize on IU’s existing research strengths in chemistry and biology designed to aid in the development of new drug discoveries. We are extremely grateful to the Indiana General Assembly for its support for this facility.
Also on the site, ground was broken last month for a new home for the Regenstrief Institute, one of the nation’s leading health informatics research centers. In addition, IU’s economic development agency, the IU Research and Technology Corporation, has plans to eventually relocate to the site to be closer to many of the university’s faculty entrepreneurs.
Partnerships are critical to our success
For more than a century, IU has offered outstanding medical education with a focus on improving the health and well being of the residents of Indiana. From our first graduating class of 25 students in Bloomington in 1907, the school has grown to become the second-largest medical school in the country, currently serving more than 2,000 students on nine campuses across the state.