UAB Cancer Center Opens Renovated Facility

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The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Comprehensive Cancer Center will open the renovated Lurleen B. Wallace Tumor Institute this Friday. The expanded facility features increased lab space, offices designed to promote collaboration, a cyclotron and a new street level glass facade.

“The old structure really had no obvious front door,” said Dr. Edward Partridge, director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center. Partridge said beside a new entrance, an atrium brings in lots of natural light to improve the work environment.

Partridge said research is increasingly a team effort and that was difficult in the previous facilities.

“This allows us to bring our teams together in a way we couldn’t do before,” Partridge said.

The tumor institute now features a 61,000-lbs cyclotron, a particle accelerator that can be used to make radioactive isotopes used in medical imaging or therapy. Having the cyclotron on site means UAB researchers can produce agents which are not commercially available.

Partridge said a renovated building will also help in recruiting scientists to Birmingham.

“They want to come to an environment that’s inviting [and] is an upgrade from where they are,” said Partridge.

The three year, $30 million dollar renovation was paid for with state bonds.

Click to see more pictures from the renovated tumor institute.

~ Andrew Yeager, August 20, 2013