UI officially unveils Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UI officially unveils Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

A new $126 million research building dedicated to improving health, is right in eastern Iowa.

The John and Mary Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building has active labs looking for new ways and research for diabetes, brain science, and many other diseases affecting the heart and lungs.

"Guys with white coats, they're walking around, what are they doing," said Michael Welsh, Director of Pappajohn Biomedical Institute. "What's in there is people who want to change things, people who are not happy with the way things are. We want the discoveries here to change the way you live."

The building is named to honor John and Mary Pappajohn.

They gave $26.4 million dollars in 2009 for construction of the project, which will serve as a hub of biomedical research on the UI campus.

Teams of investigators are already conducting research in medicine and biology all to find a cure for some of the nation's most complex diseases.

This six-story, 256,000 square-foot facility has a very open layout structure, one that researchers and University of Iowa leaders say helps them in their collaborative effort in pursuing new life sciences and treatments.

"One of the main strengths about this building is just you can see by just looking around there's just the open atmosphere and the way that it promotes interaction between different investigators," said Andrew Pieper, a researcher and associate professor of Psychiatry.

Dr. Pieper says they've started work about 7-8 years looking for ways to stop actual brain cells, neurons that communicate with each other in the brain, from dying.

"Like diabetes , heart disease, brain disorders, auditory research, lung research," said UI president Sally Mason. "[Research in this facility] will change lives.”

With medical researchers and advances, UI officials promise it will create jobs for the state, while putting the the university at the forefront nationally of biomedical research.

"For people who suffer from disease, gives them hope, opens up new opportunities to not just diagnose the disease, but to change it," said Welsh.

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