A New Home for Breakthrough Medical Research The Opening of the Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center

The Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center — the largest new building solely dedicated to biomedical research at an American medical school — officially opened June 17 at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Northwestern is the fastest-growing research enterprise among all U.S. medical schools. The new center provides much-needed biomedical research space to continue Northwestern’s projected growth.

The new 12-story Perkins+Will-designed building, with striking curved-glass exteriors and light-filled laboratory neighborhoods, adds more than 625,000 square feet of research space to the Chicago academic medical campus.

The lab plan on each floor is designed around the idea of flexible “research neighborhoods,” with the goal of creating a vibrant hub for scientists and their teams. Each floor, which can house 23 principal investigators and their teams, also has deliberate interaction space in the center to promote cross talk between the three lab “neighborhoods” and promote collaboration.

The building’s design is a direct response to the original 1925 campus master plan, which maximizes the use of limited urban land resources. Added greenery and open space at the street level along with an airy glass lobby create permeability and transparency in a dense urban neighborhood.

The new building brings physicians and scientists from the Feinberg School of Medicine, McCormick School of Engineering and Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute together with top-ranked clinical affiliates Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab -- all in one academic medical district.

The building is on track to be LEED Gold Certified, signifying a strong commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency.
The Simpson Querrey Biomedical Research Center also features new public spaces, such as the Potocsnak Family Atrium.

The university already brings in $700 million in total sponsored research funding annually. The new facility will enable Northwestern to increase that by $150 million annually or $1.5 billion in the next 10 years with the additional space and investigators. It will also create 2,000 new high-paying, full-time jobs in the new space and is expected to generate an additional $390 million a year in economic activity in Chicago.

The building is designed for a future expansion that can more than double its size vertically, with up to 16 new floors in the second phase of construction.

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