After eight years of planning and more than two years in construction, the UCSD Moores Cancer Center officially opened its doors today at the conclusion of a formal dedication ceremony attended by more than 700 university and community leaders, elected officials, former directors of the Cancer Center, donors, students, faculty and staff.
Dignitaries presiding over the morning event were Chancellor Marye Anne Fox; Edward W. Holmes, Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine; Dennis A. Carson, Director of the Moores UCSD Cancer Center; Andrew von Eschenbach, director of the National Cancer Institute; donors Rebecca and John Moores; donors Miriam and Jerome Katzin; and Chris Keays, founding chair of the Cancer Center’s Patient Advisory Committee and community volunteer.
The new Moores UCSD Cancer Center building, located on UCSD’s East Campus near Thornton Hospital, consolidates clinical, research and administrative services in a striking new architectural addition to the campus. Among its eye-catching architectural features are iridescent stainless-steel tiles that change color as the day progresses, a ‘flying bridge’ stair in a 3-story glass-fronted lobby, and an interior courtyard with mature stands of bamboo, granite boulders and a meandering dry creek bed.
The facility comprises two structures – a three-story clinical service and administrative facility and a five-story research tower, together encompassing 270,000 square feet – which house outpatient services, research labs, clinical trials offices, cancer prevention programs, community outreach activities, and more.
“This extraordinary new facility could not have been built without the generous philanthropy of far-sighted and civic-minded donors such as Rebecca and John Moores," said Chancellor Marye Anne Fox. "The UCSD and San Diego communities are indebted to them, to Miriam and Jerome Katzin, and to many others for their selfless gifts. Their contributions will help UCSD to enhance our proud traditions of education, scholarship, research and public service.”
A $20 million philanthropic gift from John Moores, majority owner of the San Diego Padres and Regent of the University of California, and his wife Rebecca, for the new building, is among the largest gifts from private individuals ever received by UCSD.
A $15 million gift from Jerome and Miriam Katzin, longtime supporters and volunteers at UCSD, also allowed construction to go forward. The Katzin Research Laboratories, part of the new building, are named on their behalf.
Vice Chancellor Holmes said the new facility’s centralized services are an important development for cancer care in the region, and will help advance scientific research in the field.
“As a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center – the only one in San Diego County and one of 39 nationwide – the Moores UCSD Cancer Center is at the forefront of new discoveries and new treatments. The new building helps us focus key resources more effectively, and offer ongoing hope for patients worldwide.”
Center Director Dennis Carson sees opportunities for discovery and improved patient care in the state-of-the-art building.
“With research laboratories, clinical-trial resources and community outreach functions under one roof, we’ll have an environment where basic discoveries can quickly be translated into promising new therapies,” he said. “The facility advances our constant goal – to provide the best cancer care available.”
Carson, a noted immunologist and cancer biologist, is a strong advocate of interdisciplinary collaboration and of building alliances with off-campus organizations, public and private. To that end, he has created an Industrial Relations Office within the Cancer Center, and an Industry Advisory Board made up of leaders of the local biotech and pharmaceutical industries.
Founded in 1979, the Cancer Center has grown as a broad collaboration among physicians and both basic and clinical researchers – all of them dedicated to improving methods of preventing, diagnosing and treating the nation’s number-two killer. Doctors, researchers, staff and patients were scattered at locations across campus, with many forced to visit multiple sites for clinical work or treatment.
Expected to unite approximately 600 physicians, scientists and professional staff, the new Moores Cancer Center building features patient-friendly interior design and a host of specialized areas and departments for advanced patient care:
- The Mary and Ron Taylor Lobby provides direct paths to all clinics and service areas.
- The pharmacy can fill retail or clinical prescriptions, as well as provide investigational drugs for those enrolled in clinical trials.
- The Ben and Sheri Kelts Bamboo Court is a tranquil, shaded court where patients and families can meet and talk.
- The Toby and Howard Cohen Healing Gardens give patients and families a variety of outdoors views and paths.
- The Katzin Research Tower Laboratories, with each of five floors containing seven to 12 independent research teams, are dedicated to leading-edge research and scientific collaboration.
- The Lee and Frank Goldberg Auditorium offers 110 seats and a reception area for conferences, seminars, lectures and patient-support groups.
- The Infusion Center is configured with patients’ comfort in mind, and overlooks the gardens.
- The Robin and William Comer Commons provides a living-room atmosphere for faculty, staff and visitor conversation and dining.
- The Charmaine and Maury Kaplan Mesa is an outdoor terrace with a view of the building’s iridescent stainless-steel tiles.
Radiation oncology, clinical research, shared resources, biostatistics/bioinformatics and imaging laboratories – as well as a Patient and Family Education Resource Center – also reside within the striking new building.
On a campus known for architectural distinction and superlative public service, the new UCSD Moores Cancer Center should prove to be a timely and welcome addition to both categories.
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News Media Contacts: Nancy Stringer, Leslie Franz - 619-543-6163
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