The Methodist Hospital Research Institute Opens 440,000 Square Foot Research Building in Houston

HOUSTON (Oct. 27, 2010) - The Methodist Hospital Research Institute (TMHRI) today opened a 12-story, 440,000 square foot research facility dedicated solely to research and equipped with the world's most advanced technology to help research scientists, physicians and engineers cure diseases that afflict today's patients.

"The new building is simply extraordinary," said Dr. Mauro Ferrari, president and CEO of The Methodist Hospital Research Institute. "I believe it is where many of the hardest challenges faced by patients and their doctors will be solved, just steps from the patients and clinics at The Methodist Hospital in the Texas Medical Center." The Research Institute's proximity to the 1,000-bed hospital brings researchers in direct contact with the patients they ultimately serve.

"The fact that the building is seamlessly integrated into the hospital represents the physical manifestation of our vision for research. We believe that research has a responsibility to improve patient care," said Ferrari. "We never want to lose sight of why we're here, to cure the diseases that affect our patients."

The building will be home to approximately 90 principal investigators and 800 post-docs, trainees and staff. The work of these researchers will move from the molecule of discovery to production of medications or vaccines to preclinical and early clinical trials, each phase of research handled seamlessly within the walls of this building.

TMHRI currently has 1,000 credentialed researchers and staff from Methodist and affiliated institutions and more than 700 ongoing clinical trials.

The architecture of the building was designed to foster collaboration and sharing of ideas between scientists of all disciplines. Its structure facilitates interaction and discussion, from the flow of the space to the ample use of ready A/V equipment; modular, flexible research spaces; lounges and coffee bars that join vertically integrated floors; and lab locations that encourage cross-disciplinary interaction.

Technology is the backbone of the new Research Institute building, providing researchers, scientists, physicians and engineers with all the tools they need to further their science.

"Technology drives research, and technology will help us bring discoveries and cures to a new level for patients at The Methodist Hospital Research Institute and across the world," said Ron Girotto, president and CEO of The Methodist Hospital System "This follows directly from the research tradition established at The Methodist Hospital by Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, who developed new, life-saving technology in specialties well beyond his legendary focus on the heart and vascular system, and whose spirit influences everything we do here."

TMHRI is equipped with its own cyclotron to create radioactively tagged isotopes used in imaging and research, nine hot cell labs where these isotopes can be processed into vials or placed in syringes for use in research protocols, and a 4,000 square foot Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) lab to produce pharmaceutical samples, nanoparticles and other materials for testing and research.

In the imaging and molecular imaging suites, the Research Institute houses single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), positron emission tomography (PET), wide-bore magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS), and an in vivo multiphoton laser scanning microscope, all dedicated solely to research.

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