SALT LAKE CITY—Work has begun on a new PrimaryChildren's and Families' Cancer Research Center atHuntsman Cancer Institute.

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The 220,000-square-foot expansion was announcedby Huntsman at the annual fundraising gala last November. WithArchitectural Nexus as the architect andJacobsen Construction as the builder, the additionis slated for completion in 2016 and will doubleHCI's research space.

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On Friday, cancer survivors and friends join HCI foundersJon and Karen Huntsman for the officialgroundbreaking ceremony.

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Principal support for the $105 million expansion will beprovided by the Jon M. Huntsman Family, HuntsmanCancer Foundation, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-daySaints, Intermountain Healthcare and theState of Utah. In all, more than 100,000individuals have supported Huntsman Cancer Institute. Theaddition's name (The Primary Children's and Families' CancerResearch Center at Huntsman Cancer Institute) reflects the LDSChurch's financial support of the expansion and its historicalemphasis on children and families.

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“When we dedicated the first phase of Huntsman Cancer Institutein 1999, I told everyone it was just thebeginning. That vision—which many viewed as impossible—is nowcoming true; a cancer treatment and research campus unparalleled inthe world. Here we'll make the kind of research advances that willtruly make a difference to the human family,” Jon Huntsmansaid.

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The addition's projected laboratories will bring the actuallinear footage of research bench space to almost a mile. Otherresearch enhancements will include a Biotechnology Center, with thelatest advanced genetic sequencing and imaging equipment.

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“By bringing together the most innovative scientific minds withleading edge technologies, we will accelerate cancer researchdiscovery to reduce the burden of cancer. Just down the hall fromour cancer hospital, teams of top scientists will be tackling themost pressing medical challenge of our time,” said MaryBeckerle, HCI's CEO and director. “The Huntsmans and ourother generous supporters have given all of us a tremendous gift,and it is now up to us to capitalize on this uniqueopportunity.”

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Huntsman Cancer Institute is located on the campus of theUniversity of Utah and is part of the University of Utah HealthSciences system. The addition will extend from the southeast cornerof the research arm of the original building and marks HCI's fourthmajor construction phase. The first phase, The Jon M. HuntsmanResearch Center, was completed in 1999, and comprises231,000-square-feet with three floors of research labs and a floorof outpatient clinics. The second phase, a286,000-square-foot cancer specialty hospital with 50 inpatientrooms, opened in 2004. In the fall of2011, a 156,000-square-footexpansion to the hospital, with 50 more inpatient rooms,was dedicated.

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David Phillips

David Phillips is a Chicago-based freelance writer and consultant with more than 20 years experience in business and community news. He also has extensive reporting experience in the food manufacturing industry for national trade publications.