COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The University of Missouri hosted officials from across the country to open its new health research building.
Watch the ceremony in the player below.
The Roy Blunt NextGen Precision Health building is part of the UM system's larger initiative dedicated to researching cures and treatments for health problems. The four-story building off of Hitt Street will house laboratory spaces and advanced clinical research technology.
University officials describe the new facility as "the single largest research investment on campus." The $221 million project has been funded through federal, state and donor support.
National Institute of Health director Francis Collins said the facility could help bring in researchers and grant money seeking out the latest advancements in health care. The building sports labs where teams in different fields studying things like cancer and immunology work near each other. Collins said university officials took a unique approach to designing the building.
"This kind of environment, where you have people working side by side in a close clinic, that's where the magic happens," Collins said.
University officials named the building after outgoing U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-Missouri). Blunt will not seek a third term in 2022. He said future senators should consider how higher education can impact their communities.
"Public officials need to understand the unique and long commitment that government in our country, including the federal government, has made to both education and research," Blunt said. "It's a place where the government, with the right kind of input, can have really an unbelievable impact."
Research teams will spend the next several months moving into the building. Equipment like MRI scanners and electron microscopes already fill the floors as faculty move in their research teams. The university said it plans to hold about 60 teams in the coming months.