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UPMC to Build $300M Center for 'Innovative' Biomedical Science

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center said today that it plans to invest $294 million in building a research center in Pittsburgh that will focus on personalized medicine and the biology of cancer and aging.

The 350,000-square-foot Center for Innovative Science will be located at the site of the former Ford Motor Co. Building on Centre Ave., which UPMC bought in 2007, and will support 375 new scientific and administrative jobs.

UPMC said it has started a national recruitment campaign with the University of Pittsburgh to find a leader in genetics and genomics to focus on research into the biological underpinnings of cancer, the role of viruses, and the cellular changes that are part of the aging process.

“This major investment in good science will help us to develop the personalized treatments necessary to improve the effectiveness of health care. For diseases like cancer, we will identify the genetic and environmental factors that determine the susceptibility of each individual and the best course and type of treatment," UPMC Chief Medical and Scientific Officer Steven Shapiro said in a statement.

“With recent advances that have been made in such fields as genetics, genomics and computational biology, the time is right to challenge the conventional paradigms that have guided most medical research to this point,” Shapiro continued.

He said the medical center's large population of patients and its investments in gathering and analyzing large volumes of data make it "uniquely positioned" to pursue this type of science.

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