Highlighted by an open, flexible floor plan, the newly renovated, state-of-the-art research space on 4 East in Jefferson Alumni Hall will be a physical embodiment of the University’s research strategic plan.
The culture at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University), and at many large research universities, has shifted dramatically over the past few years, said Steven McMahon, PhD, chair of biochemistry and molecular biology at Sidney Kimmel Medical College and the University’s senior associate provost for programmatic science.
“I think this partly reflects our growing appreciation that the scope and pace of discovery are both elevated when scientists with complementary expertise bring those skillsets together to tackle a problem collaboratively,” he said during the Jan. 28 ribbon-cutting ceremony. “For Jefferson, these programmatic focus areas include neurodegeneration within our Farber Institute for Neuroscience, certain forms of cancer within the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, fibrosis, mitochondrial function and disease, and more. Our policies, our investments and even our architecture need to reflect this shift toward team science. In most circumstances, faculty also find this strategy more rewarding than working on a problem in isolation.”
The 20,000-square-foot space symbolizes one piece of what makes the University special, said Stephen K. Klasko, MD, MBA, president of Thomas Jefferson University and CEO of Jefferson Health. “We spend a lot of our time thinking about what’s going to be obvious 10 years from now and doing it today across all four of our pillars: Academic, Clinical, Innovation and Philanthropy.”
During his remarks, Mark L. Tykocinski, MD, provost and executive vice president of Jefferson and the Anthony F. and Gertrude M. DePalma Dean of the Sidney Kimmel Medical College, recounted the massive renovations that have taken place throughout the building over the past decade.
“We have an elite group of scientists, and top scientists deserve top space,” he said.
David Rea, PhD, chair of the Jefferson Academic Board’s research committee, concluded the ceremony with a toast to the dozens of researchers, faculty and members of Jefferson leadership in attendance. “This is a milestone day for Jefferson research,” he said.