Where renovation meets celebration: Refurbished Med Sci I space to welcome DCMB

September 28, 2022  //  FOUND IN: News

As the Department of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics (DCMB) celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2022, its present is in the works.

On Sept. 22, the U-M Board of Regents approved a $42 million renovation of three levels of Medical School Building I in the B and D wings that eventually will become the new home for DCMB and several other medical school units.

Nationally respected for its interdisciplinary research and training programs, DCMB strives to create novel informatics- and computationally-based methods, tools and algorithms for basic biomedical, translational and clinical research.  

DCMB is preparing to host a 10th anniversary symposium on Sept. 29 at the A. Alfred Taubman Biomedical Science Research Building. Click here for more details.

Not only does the renovation project showcase ongoing efforts by leadership to provide medical school faculty, staff and learners with the very best facilities, it also demonstrates how history has a way of moving pieces around the playing surface — in this case, the UMMS physical landscape.

As DCMB was taking root as a new department in 2012, the university was in the early stages of transforming the recently acquired Pfizer campus, now the North Campus Research Complex (NCRC). That milestone acquisition set into motion a decade-plus of strategic moves to expand the research enterprise.

One of the old occupants of the Med Sci I space, the Department of Pathology, moved its operations to NCRC several years ago. The renovation of what they left behind in Med Sci I will convert obsolete wet lab research space into an efficient and collaborative dry and computational research environment.

“We are pleased to not only modernize a critical hub location for our medical school and Michigan Medicine, but to do so in a manner that aligns with the university’s carbon neutrality goals,” said Matthew C. Comstock, M.B.A., MHSA, chief operating officer for the medical school.

The project, indeed, will support the university’s carbon neutrality goal through interior and exterior design and construction features, including new energy-efficient HVAC equipment, lighting and control systems. It will also include thermally insulated and triple-glazed windows, maximum insulation of roof and exterior walls, and include new electric power and telecommunication systems.

DCMB presently is located in Palmer Commons where its precursors, the Center for Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics (CCMB) and the Bioinformatics Graduate Program, have been housed since 2005.  When it moves into Med Sci I in two years, space there will become available for other units as well.

“DCMB and its labs, training programs and facilities have thrived in no small part owing to the bright and welcoming space it has enjoyed in Palmer Commons. As we enter our second decade as a medical school department, it is an honor to be moved into this exciting, newly refurbished and environmentally sustainable Med Sci I space designed for teaming, collaboration and wellness,” said Brian D. Athey, Ph.D., the Michael Savageau Collegiate Professor and DCMB chair.

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