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Commonwealth Magazine: Rock star science

Nobel Prize winner Craig Mello is about to step on to a new stage

An economic impact analysis done by the UMass Donahue Institute was cited by UMass Medical School Chancellor Michael Collins in a story appearing in Commonwealth Magazine. The story, written as a conversation with Collins and Nobel Prize-winning biologist Craig Mello, covers the development of the Albert B. Sherman Center, a $400 million research facility at UMass Medical School’s Worcester campus. Scheduled to open in October, the Sherman Center is a critical project for the state’s overall life sciences initiative and represents a significant investment in both the medical school and Mello’s work.

To obtain funding for the building’s development, Chancellor Collins had to convince Governor Patrick and the State Legislature that their investment would yield substantial returns. He requested that the Donahue Institute look at the economic impact of the Lazare building [which opened in 2000] and then used that analysis as the basis for calculating the economic impact of the Sherman Center, arriving at an estimate of $1 billion.

With 480,000 square feet of labs and classrooms, a fitness center and a dining hall, this new facility will focus on three areas: RNA biology, stem cell biology, and gene therapy. Beyond the economic impact the Center will have on the region, the research done there will have an effect on medicine around the world.

Read article: Rock star science

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