UCSD Breaks Ground on World-Class Cancer Center Facility

Nov. 8, 2002 The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) broke ground today on the new Rebecca and John Moores UCSD Cancer Center, a 270,000-square-foot facility that will unite the Center's clinical, research, education and outreach activities under one roof. In this facility, laboratories and clinics employing 21st century technology will share space with amenities such as the Garden of Hope, a serene outdoor setting designed especially for the comfort of cancer patients.

Officiating at the ceremonies were UC President Richard C. Atkinson; UCSD Chancellor Robert C. Dynes; naming benefactors John and Rebecca Moores, and Jerome and Miriam Katzin; Edward W. Holmes, UCSD Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine; and Cancer Center Director David Tarin. Approximately 300 friends, supporters, faculty and staff of the Cancer Center attended the morning event.

"Consolidating our cancer-related activities into one comprehensive facility is an important development for cancer care," said Chancellor Dynes. "This new building will be a fertile setting that will accelerate the pace of discovery, resulting in new therapies for patients. We are able to take this major step forward, due in large part to the confidence and support of community leaders who want the very best for our region."

President Atkinson, who, during his tenure as UCSD Chancellor, envisioned a world-class cancer center as a cornerstone of the academic medical campus, said: "Today marks a turning point in the life of this cancer center, and signals a new day in the care of patients in this community and beyond. This new facility will set the standard for the integration of compassionate care and cutting-edge research."

A $20 million philanthropic gift from John and Rebecca Moores toward construction of the $100 million project is among the largest gifts from private individuals ever received by UCSD.

"When we lived in Houston we saw the profound economic and social impact of a major academic cancer center," said John Moores, chairman of the UC Board of Regents and trustee of UCSD. "When UCSD Chancellor Bob Dynes approached Becky and me about the university's vision for a world-class cancer program in San Diego, we were pleased to accept his invitation to be part of this important advance for our community."

The Moores contribution and a $15 million gift from Jerome and Miriam Katzin provided a jumpstart to the initiative.

In recognition of the Katzins' generous support, UCSD has established a new entity within the Cancer Center that encompasses its renowned research programs the Katzin Research Laboratories.

Said Vice Chancellor Holmes: "The new building we celebrate today is designed to foster research and discovery, leading directly to improvements in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of malignancy. Patients who walk through these doors will have access to the most advanced care, in a state-of-the art setting. And ultimately the groundbreaking work of the physicians and scientists associated with the Moores UCSD Cancer Center will benefit patients beyond our region, for generations to come."

About The Building

The facility will be built on 2.4 acres southeast of UCSD Thornton Hospital and Perlman Ambulatory Care Center, near the Shiley Eye Center, on the University's East Campus in La Jolla. It will house outpatient clinical services, research laboratories, clinical trials offices, cancer prevention and community outreach activities, and center administration.

"This facility is designed to provide patients with a single source of integrated clinical care encompassing prevention, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, education, rehabilitation and after-care in one convenient and comfortable location," said Cancer Center Director Tarin. "Patients will benefit also from new ideas being brought from the laboratory to the clinic as a result of the interactions and communication that will take place as clinicians and researchers work side-by-side."

The building is made up of two structures a three-story clinical service and administrative facility, and a five-story research tower that share a common base.

The base, or first floor, is dedicated to patient care with examination and procedure rooms, a chemotherapy suite, imaging, radiation oncology, clinical labs, a pharmacy, education and counseling spaces, and physician offices. The second floor of the clinical services/administration structure will house space for the center's cancer prevention and control activities, an auditorium and administrative offices. Additional space for cancer prevention and control, and clinical trials offices will be located on the third floor.

The research tower will contain the Katzin Research Laboratories. This arm of the facility will house wet-bench research laboratories, laboratory support, and associated office space on floors two through five.

A tranquil, shaded bamboo garden in the courtyard will serve as an extended lobby, providing intimate spaces where people can meet and talk. On the second floor, the Mesa, an outdoor space for dining and interaction, will overlook the bamboo garden.

Plan for the UCSD Cancer Center Garden of Hope

On the west side of the building, there will be a series of smaller gardens, collectively called the Healing Gardens. Outside the chemotherapy suite will be the Garden of Hope, where patients will be able to enjoy nature while they are receiving treatment. This garden has been designed to meet the special needs of chemotherapy patients. Along with comfortable seating and shade, the garden will feature flowering plants that lack strong fragrance and thorns and don't attract bees, all of which can irritate patients. There will also be a Garden of the Senses with a serpentine path leading to a meadow overlook. The Orchard Garden, adjacent to physician offices, is designed to encourage interaction and provides space for larger gatherings.

State-of-the-art therapeutic technologies will likewise play a central role in enhancing the experience that patients have at the Center. Radiation oncology, for example, will be equipped with the most advanced imaging instruments for treatment planning so they have the best effect with the fewest side effects.

Similarly, the chemotherapy suite will be configured with patient comfort in mind. The area will be spacious with comfortable seating and views of the garden. Infusion equipment will be integral to chairs and gurneys, so IV poles and monitors will be discreet. Updating of patient charts will take place at the bedside on computer screens.

Architects: Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership

General contractor: McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.

Landscape architects: Katherine Spitz Associates

Founded in 1979, the Rebecca and John Moores UCSD Cancer Center is one of just 39 centers in the United States to hold a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center. As such, it ranks among the top centers in the nation conducting basic and clinical cancer research, providing advanced patient care and serving the community through outreach and education programs.

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REPORTERS NOTE: High-resolution color renderings of the Moores UCSD Cancer Center facility, photos of the groundbreaking ceremony, and additional background information are available for downloading at www.cancer.ucsd.edu.


"The beauty of the new UCSD facility is that it will offer patients access to the latest research-based therapy in a caring and supportive environment. That combination often is not available elsewhere. For researchers, there also will be a constant reminder of the importance of their work -- the patient."

John Mendelsohn, M.D.
The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center


"I have been privileged to watch the development of the cancer center over the past several years as chairman of its external advisory board. Dr. David Tarin and his colleagues have done a remarkable job in a relatively short time. The new building is a steppingstone to national eminence for the center, and for providing better services to its patients. The UCSD and larger communities should be proud of this important symbol of progress. Heartfelt congratulations are in order for both."

Joseph V. Simone, M.D.
Clinical Director Emeritus, Huntsman Cancer Institute
Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics and Medicine, University of Utah
President, Simone Consulting Company


"This building represents a new beginning for UCSD as an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and it is a tribute to the commitment of the university to establish a world-class cancer center that fosters interdisciplinary research and brings the benefits of research directly to the community it serves."

Brian W. Kimes, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Centers, Training and Resources
National Cancer Institute

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News Media Contacts:
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UCSD Health Sciences Communications HealthBeat: http://health.ucsd.edu/news/