The Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine is expanding its research and development operations by acquiring laboratory and office space in the university’s Forensic Science Center Annex from the Huntington Area Development Council.
Monday’s announcement by Dr. Joseph I. Shapiro, dean of the School of Medicine, reflects an agreement among the Huntington Area Development Council, the Marshall University Research Corporation and the medical school that will give the school the space it needs to grow its biomedical research program.
“I am thrilled we will soon expand our biomedical research operations into space at the Forensic Science Center Annex,” Shapiro said. “Through our partnership with HADCO and the Marshall University Research Corporation, the School of Medicine will now be able to move forward with research projects guided by our new vice dean for research, Dr. Nader Abraham. Moreover, I’m certain expansion of our research capabilities will eventually lead to additional opportunities and ultimately to better health care for our patients.”
The School of Medicine’s new space is in an area of the annex designated for research and biotechnology startup companies when the facility was built. HADCO, using $1 million in federal funding, partnered with Marshall to build the annex with a goal of creating an environment for “new economy” jobs. Through the agreement, the School of Medicine will sublease from HADCO 2,100 square feet for its new laboratories and offices.
Researchers in the new labs will be investigating the causes of kidney disease and hypertension as well as conducting clinical trials on medications to improve heart function and decrease body weight.
Stephen J. Golder, chairman of HADCO’s executive committee said the partnership is a great example of how public and private entities can work to foster economic development in the region.
Dr. John M. Maher, vice president for research, added, “We are excited by this rapid response to demand for new research space at the School of Medicine to accommodate new grant-funded researchers. With our partner HADCO, we look forward to the innovation and technology-based economic development that will follow this new research activity. This is another significant step in making Huntington a leading regional center for translational research.”
The research space is expected to be ready for occupancy this fall. It is located at the corner of 14th Street and Charleston Avenue in Huntington.