New Research Facility, Many Lab Improvements on the Docket

UC Riverside is in the midst of a major new investment in its research facilities

UCR Campus

The UCR campus shines on a beautiful morning. (Feb. 16, 2012).

UC Riverside is in the midst of a major new investment in its research facilities, with planning underway for a new 150,000 square foot research and teaching building as well as refurbishments and upgrades to labs in several other facilities.

Faculty and staff members joined several members of campus administration Oct. 6 for a project launch celebration for the new Multidisciplinary Research Building [MDRB], at which Chancellor Kim Wilcox, Provost Paul D’Anieri, and Vice Provost for Research and Economic Development Michael Pazzani spoke about expanding UCR’s research capacity.

“I’m keen to get the Multidisciplinary Research Building constructed and other facilities improved,” said Wilcox. He said he envisions the new building to become “a place to come together and achieve our future” as a university.

D’Anieri said the new facility, and other research upgrades, are part of “a broad strategic effort to increase UCR’s research impacts nationally and internationally.” He noted the plans announced by Wilcox to expand the ladder-rank faculty by 300 positions, and said that the focus will be to hire the best faculty members to build more top-tier programs across disciplines. “The goal is to connect that [recruitment] conversation with the facilities we are building.”

Pazzani said the MDRB would serve as a flexible research space, with both wet and dry labs as well as office and classroom space. He noted the building would likely host current faculty as well as newly-hired individuals. “We need to invest in our current faculty and our current research facilities, as well,” he said.

He cited several improvements underway:

  • Equipment and devices
  • New transmission electron microscope
  • New functional magnetic resonance imaging facility
  • Lab facility improvements
  • Webber Hall: ongoing laboratory refurbishing
  • Bourns College of Engineering: conversion of several dry labs to wet labs
  • Modernization of some greenhouse facilities, with new climate controls and growth chambers
  • Vivaria: updates to the Boyce and Spieth facilities and increased capacity in the barrier facility
  • Physics and Materials Sciences: helium recovery systems to reuse the element [which is widely used in cooling] and to reduce costs
  • Completion of the Level 3 Biosafety Laboratory

“The new building, and the refurbishing  of existing facilities, are investments in our current faculty and in our future growth,” said Pazzani.

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