Construction moves ahead on Michigan State research center



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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Construction is moving forward on Michigan State University's new $88.1 million biomedical research center in Grand Rapids ahead of a planned 2017 opening.

Groundbreaking took place earlier this year for the East Lansing school's Grand Rapids Research Center. The six-story, 162,800-square-foot facility will include workspaces and five core labs that will benefit researchers and MSU College of Human Medicine scientists.

"You can be proud to be part of this great medical research evolution in our city," MSU College of Human Medicine Interim Dean Aron Sousa said of the construction work in remarks prepared for a Thursday "topping off" ceremony on the school's project.

Sousa noted that the facility will house scientists conducting work in the fields of autism, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, pediatric cancer and women's health research.

The building is on the site of the former home of The Grand Rapids Press newspaper in downtown. It will occupy about half of the property, leaving the door open for future developments.

When the research center opens in late 2017, it will support 260 members of MSU College of Human Medicine's scientific research teams, including 34 principal investigators and their labs.

The center is part of a long-term strategy that began in 2005 for the university to expand its presence in western Michigan. The College of Human Medicine opened the Secchia Center in 2010. The $90 million, privately funded facility was constructed specifically for medical education and isn't designed to accommodate research labs.

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Online:

MSU College of Human Medicine: http://humanmedicine.msu.edu

Additional details: http://bit.ly/1PBHtpp

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The Associated Press

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