The University of North Carolina Imaging Research Building provides the UNC School of Medicine, Eschelman School of Pharmacy, and the Carolina Institute for Nanomedicine a unified physical and intellectual home for interdisciplinary cancer research. The 10-story, 343,000 square foot (31,870 square meter) building is set in the center of the University of North Carolina system’s flagship medical campus. The literal and figurative cornerstone of the design and building are three floors of state of the art imaging equipment for research and clinical trials including: two cyclotrons and hot cell radio-pharmacy lab, 1900 cage vivarium, animal imaging suite (with 9.4T small-bore MRI), NMR facility (with 7 total NMRs), and four large-bore imaging magnets: a 7T MRI, 3T MRI, MR/PET, and PET/CT.
The School of Pharmacy floors comprise 75,300 gross square feet (7,000 gross square meters) and will house the Chemical Biology/ Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmaceutics Departments which aims to safely and effectively bridge the “translational” gap with new drug and imaging discoveries into clinical trials with the goal to improve human health. The three upper floor School of Medicine laboratories comprising of 102,600 gross square feet (9,530 gross square meters) will house the Lineberger Cancer Center research labs, Microbiology/ Immunology, and Marsico Lung Institute. The interdisciplinary collaboration, flexible design, and combination of these groups with the most advanced imaging equipment in the world will enable these scientists, clinicians and patients to develop new therapies and drugs to combat cancer.
While the design is highly technical and state of the art, the building also meets future needs to address ever-changing and evolving science and equipment it also addresses the University’s desire for scientific and social collaboration. All of the imaging modalities incorporate space and utilities for future equipment and upgrades, as well as experimental “beta-test” equipment. The upper-story laboratories have built-in flexibility with movable casework and “flex” space convertible to equipment space, office space, or laboratories.