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Final phase of SBC approved

Construction will begin this fall on a 35,000-square-foot drug discovery research facility that will be closely aligned with KU's nationally ranked School of Pharmacy.

The legislative Joint Committee on State Building Construction met to review plans for the $16 million facility, known as Phase III of the existing Structural Biology Center (SBC) on KU's west campus. The State Finance Council earlier approved issuing $20 million in bonds, which will be financed entirely by the nonprofit KU Center for Research Inc.  No state funds will be used. The facility is expected to open in fall 2007.

The facility will house KU's High Throughput Screening lab and the KU Center of Excellence in Chemical Methodologies and Library Development, which is funded by a $9.5 million National Institutes of Health grant and is directed by Professor Jeff Aub, a leading researcher of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry.

Both units now occupy constricted space in KU's Life Sciences Research Laboratory at Bob Billings Parkway and Wakarusa Drive.

"This drug discovery center will help meet a pressing need for new lab space as our life sciences research continues to grow," said Jim Roberts, vice provost for research at KU.

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