The Molecular Biology Science Building
The economy of Puerto Rico is changing from manufacturing, to greater diversification centered on high-technology industries. High technology industries hold the best hope for long-term increases in economic autonomy and employment for Puerto Rico. These industries, represented by the recent developments in biotechnology, will demand a vibrant university research community. An increasingly educated workforce and strengthened Research and Development infrastructure will expedite economic opportunities for the island in these industries.
With this scenario in mind, the University of Puerto Rico is constructing a 152,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art research facility for the Molecular Sciences, which have strong potential for economic development opportunities in Puerto Rico. The Molecular Sciences Building will contribute to Puerto Rico's development in Science and Technology, helping to make the Island a competitive player in the growing economy of knowledge.
The eight-floor Building is designed to meet the needs of cutting-edge research in Puerto Rico for the next 25 years. The design features standardization, flexibility and adaptability, systems integration, and ease of sharing equipment. All building elements, including structure, offices, laboratories, and furnishings, are standardized according to the latest technological advances. Flexibility in the use of space is assured by modular design and walls that can be moved to change laboratory dimensions as research needs change. The building has been designed to meet the requirements of the molecular sciences for controlled environments and dependable utilities to conduct research efficiently and effectively. The plan of the building will promote high efficiency in use of equipment (common use facilities), stimulate communication among collaborators, and facilitate upgrading as science advances, and techniques and equipment improve.
The building will provide laboratory space for the country's most competitive scientists, specifically, researchers from the Río Piedras and Medical Science campuses. A key component to infrastructure is quality research space. The structure will provide ninety thousand (90,000) net square feet of high quality science laboratories. Puerto Rico has never had research space of this nature. The new building will enable us to develop projects in the fields of bioimaging, molecular structure and cellular biology, neuroscience, cancer, and nanotechnology, among others.
The UPR has numerous resources that will optimize utilization of such a facility. Its campuses are positioned to make major contributions in molecular biology, neuroscience, protein structure and dynamics, nanotechnology, and cancer research, areas of investigation with high potential for advances in health related research, health care and the economic well-being of Puerto Rico. The Molecular Sciences Building will provide the arena for cutting-edge research in the molecular and other related sciences to approximately a hundred investigators, a hundred postdoctoral students, a hundred and twenty technicians and over five hundred students.
Construction Progress (pdf)