Many of UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy’s research programs have a new, state-of-the-art home as the University dedicated Marsico Hall, the newest building—and one of the largest—on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus on Thursday, March 27.
Formerly called the IRB building or the BRIC building, Marsico Hall will house basic and translational research across several disciplines and will feature cutting-edge imaging equipment that will fundamentally advance knowledge of cancer and many other complex diseases.
More than two dozen pharmacy faculty members are setting up laboratories in Marsico Hall to take advantage of its capabilities and the opportunities for collaboration with their colleagues in the UNC School of Medicine. The pharmacy researchers bring a strong focus on cancer research, biomedical imaging, and drug discovery and delivery and include the members of the School’s Center for Integrative Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery and the Center for Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery.
“The opening of Marsico Hall brings with it exceptional and expanded opportunities for continued collaboration between the Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy at UNC,” says Dean Bob Blouin, PharmD. “Major advances in nanomedicine, drug discovery and delivery, and biomedical imaging are within our reach. The environment, technology, and people within Marsico Hall will make these advances possible. The discoveries made here will drive the economy of the state and improve the health of North Carolinians and people around the world.”
The nine-story, 340,000-square-foot building features world-class imaging equipment, including a hybrid MRI/PET whole body scanner, a 7-Tesla MRI whole body scanner and a cyclotron. UNC and Massachusetts General Hospital, in affiliation with Harvard University, are currently the only two academic medical centers in the country that have these three imaging devices in one location. Together, each device optimizes the capabilities of the others, making these devices some of the most powerful diagnostic imaging tools in the world.
Marsico Hall will house many of medicine’s and pharmacy’s research programs. The building includes the Marsico Lung Institute, the Biomedical Research Imaging Center, and researchers from UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, nanomedicine, microbiology and immunology, and pharmacoengineering.
Funds for the building were provided by the people of North Carolina through state appropriations to further the research mission of UNC-Chapel Hill. The facility has a total project cost of $245 million, with the N.C. General Assembly providing $243.5 million to construct the building and UNC providing the remaining $1.5 million. As the only new public building funded by the state in 2009, Marsico Hall will make a significant contribution to North Carolina’s economy and UNC’s commitment to scientific discovery.
The building is named for Thomas F. Marsico of Denver, chairman and chief executive officer of Marsico Capital Management, LLC and father of two UNC alumni, for his lifetime contributions to the School of Medicine.