The University of Missouri (UM) System plans to build NextGen Precision Health to provide a facility for advancing research in precision medicine. The UM System needed a firm with extensive architecture experience to complete the job under a tight project schedule.
University of Missouri System
When it opens along Hospital Drive in Columbia, Missouri, the facility will aim to bring together engineering, medicine and veterinary science students, as well as the federal government, to pursue a collaborative approach to personalized healthcare.
Precision medicine will be researched in the facility by principal investigators (PI) and graduate assistants to pursue a form of medicine based on an individual’s genes, lifestyle and environment, rather than using a universal treatment approach.
The UM System plans to have all university branches of the system utilize the 265,000-square-foot facility by October 2021. The project is scheduled to be designed and built in 28 months, or about six months faster than other facilities of similar scale. Our team was brought on to complete architectural services for the facility as part of the project’s design phase.
The facility posed some unique design challenges. Research with both animals and humans will be conducted in the facility, in an effort to produce advancements in precision medicine. The ultimate goal of the research is patented medical products and treatments that will bring UM System researchers together with industry partners. Both human and animal research occurring in the complex have to be accounted for by the architecture team to prevent those working and visiting the facility from seeing or interacting with animals, unless as an intended part of research. The finished complex will provide office space for as many as 60 PIs and 300 graduate students, as well as leasable space reserved for medical, pharmacological and computational innovators and industry leaders to develop new patented medicines and treatments for both humans and animals.
The facility will serve as a modern space for researchers to make advancements, while also complementing the existing architecture design found on campus. In addition to the extensive lab space, the facility will feature an outdoor event plaza, state-of-the-art 2D visualization space, vivarium for small and large animals and a three-device imaging suite including magnetic resonance imaging, single-photon emission computed tomography and positron emission tomography computed tomography for researchers to use for both humans and animals.
The facility is well into the construction phase of the project and is expected to be completed in line with the UM System’s goal of an open facility by October 2021. The new complex is poised to advance the UM System’s cancer, vascular and neurological research on a national and global scale with advanced patient-specific treatments.