BUILDINGS HAVE OFTEN been symbols of larger aspirations, and the new health sciences facility the University of Maryland at Baltimore is celebrating is a case in point.
The structure, part of a long-range construction plan at UMAB, contains 80,000 square feet of laboratories housing cutting-edge research that will benefit the people of Baltimore in several ways. In those labs, leading scientists and researchers will pursue the painstaking work that could lead to an AIDS vaccine, or discover new treatments for cancer and neurobiological illnesses, or tease out the causes of a leading killer like heart disease.
Medical research not only brightens the future for people everywhere, it also provides an economic engine for a city like Baltimore, where some of the best physicians and medical scientists in the world do their work. Last year, researchers at UMAB brought in more than $114 million in public and private grants and contracts. Now, with the new facility, the university expects to generate another $20 million in new grants and contracts and to create some 370 permanent research-related jobs.
The Health Sciences Facility will enhance the strengths of UMAB's medical school and its life sciences departments. The $55.8 million building is also expected to be a potent tool for recruiting and retaining top-notch students and faculty. It will soon be joined by a state-of-the-art library and information services center for the health sciences.
The new facility is also a concrete sign of UMAB's commitment to the UniversityCenter neighborhood -- and to the city of Baltimore and the city's goal of building a stronger economy by making the most of its considerable strengths as a center of medical research.