UF Aging Institute gets $15M for new complex

The new building will bring together researchers scattered across the state and campus.

Published: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 at 11:42 p.m.

The Institute on Aging at the University of Florida has received close to $15 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health to build a 40,000-square-foot complex for clinical and translational research, it was announced Tuesday.

The building will bring together scientists from a range of disciplines to focus on aging research, said Dr. Marco Pahor, director of the institute.

More than one-fifth of Florida's population is over the age of 60 and, of all states, Florida has the largest proportion of elderly in the country.

The one-stop facility will make it easier for older people with limited mobility to take part in clinical trials. It also will provide a home for UF Institute on Aging researchers, who are now scattered across 11 locations on campus and around the state.

The new building will incorporate facilities for clinical research recruitment and assessment, laboratories, training, conferences and lifestyle intervention, including an indoor walking track, demonstration kitchen and behavioral counseling suite.

"This will provide one single hub for our clinical research studies that is oriented toward the community," Pahor said. "It is designed to be people friendly."

The construction funding comes on the heels of a $64 million NIH research award to UF to study whether physical activity can help prevent mobility disability and other problems in older adults.

"I'm sure that Clinical and Translational Science Award was a tremendous asset in our favor" in the competitive peer-reviewed process, Pahor added.

The four-story building will be located on the northeast corner of Gale Lemerand Drive and Mowry Road.

Ground will be broken by July 2011, and the building should be ready for occupancy by March 2013, Pahor said.

The construction grant will be administered by the National Center for Research Resources. Funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the project will create or retain an estimated 376 jobs, three-quarters of them construction-related, along with 30 faculty positions, graduate assistants and administrative staff.

uf: Ground will be broken on new complex in 2011; building should be done by 2013

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