Memphis Business Journal
By: Elle Perry
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is creating a $412 million research center, the largest project ever on the Memphis hospital's campus.
The center, slated to break ground this spring and open in 2021, is a major component of the hospital's previously announced $1 billion campus expansion — itself a piece of a $7 billion spend to expand the hospital's efforts to cure childhood diseases. The 625,000-square-foot, eight-story center is designed to attract the best scientists and clinicians from around the world to St. Jude and to accelerate discoveries for catastrophic pediatric conditions.
The project will provide an estimated 5,000 construction jobs and involve more than 125 vendors, with over 75 percent of the positions expected to be hired from the local area.
Six floors will serve as St. Jude's flagship for basic and translation research. Labs will focus on immunology, neurobiology, cell and molecular biology, gene editing, metabolomics, advanced microscopy, epigenetics, genomics, immunotherapy and RNA biology. It will also feature a biorepository.
Two floors will be designated for future expansion and evolving technology.
"In 2016 we announced our new strategic plan to accelerate progress against pediatric catastrophic diseases," said Dr. James Downing, St. Jude's president and CEO. "A key component of that is to strengthen the basic research that's done on the St. Jude campus. So, this new advanced research center is the linchpin of that new strategic effort. And this will be a state-of-the-art building, unparalleled in its capacities, and will bring together scientists from across our campus and new employees on the St. Jude campus to accelerate progress."
St. Jude intends to hire 1,000 faculty and staff as part of the strategic effort.
Memphis' The Crump Firm developed the project and is the lead architect; Pasadena, California-based Jacobs Engineering is providing lab design.
"This building is like no other research building in the world," Downing said. "It provides laboratory space, common space, space for the faculty to interact, and it is constructed in a way that provides an open environment that facilitates multidisciplinary collaboration and interactions. That's the heart of advancing science to cure children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases."
St. Jude shares the results and knowledge from its research with scientists around the world.
Flintco is the construction manager.