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CAMBRIDGE, MA-The largest building Harvard has ever built was unveiled at 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur. The $260-million facility, which will be called the New Research Building, totals 525,000 sf of space and is part of the medical school campus.

The building represents the largest expansion of the medical school campus in the past 100 years. Among its features is a 500-seat auditorium. Approximately 800 people will be able to work in the labs and offices include researchers from both the Medical School and its affiliated hospitals.

“The New Research Building represents a commitment to medical advancement through greater scientific collaboration,” says Joseph Martin, dean of the Medical School. “By having hospital-based and [Medical] school-based faculty working side-by-side in this new environment, biomedical opportunities will emerge and be taken more quickly from laboratory to bedside. Thus, this facility signifies the direction research is taking, and illustrates the obligation felt by us to end human suffering caused by disease.”

The building also features lounges, conference rooms and other common spaces which the university says are designed to increase communication and collegiality among specialists who normally don’t talk to each other much or at all. “We have invented so very much, we have discovered so very much at Harvard, I am convinced we can also discover how to collaborate across several-mile distances and I think we are making great progress,” notes university president Lawrence H. Summers.

The school recently established the Department of Systems Biology, a new department to study human biology in a more comprehensive way by taking knowledge about genes and molecules and using it to predict how organs like the heart and lungs stay healthy or become diseased. The university also recently created a collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology called the Broad Institute, where researchers will take raw data generated by the Human Genome Project and turn it into new understanding and cures for human ills.

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