SALT LAKE CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Construction begins on the new Primary Children’s and Families’ Cancer Research Center at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at 11 a.m., Friday, June 6, when cancer survivors and friends join HCI founders Jon M. and Karen Huntsman for the official groundbreaking ceremony.
The 220,000-square-foot expansion was announced by Huntsman at the annual fundraising gala last November. With Architectural Nexus as the architect and Jacobsen Construction as the builder, the addition is slated for completion in 2016 and will double HCI’s research space.
Principal support for the $105 million expansion will be provided by the Jon M. Huntsman Family, Huntsman Cancer Foundation, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Intermountain Healthcare and the State of Utah. In all, more than 100,000 individuals have supported Huntsman Cancer Institute. The addition’s name (The Primary Children’s and Families’ Cancer Research Center at Huntsman Cancer Institute) reflects the LDS Church’s financial support of the expansion and its historical emphasis on children and families.
“When we dedicated the first phase of Huntsman Cancer Institute in 1999, I told everyone it was just the beginning. That vision—which many viewed as impossible—is now coming true; a cancer treatment and research campus unparalleled in the world. Here we’ll make the kind of research advances that will truly make a difference to the human family,” Jon M. Huntsman said.
The addition’s projected laboratories will bring the actual linear footage of research bench space to almost a mile. Other research enhancements will include a Biotechnology Center, with the latest advanced genetic sequencing and imaging equipment.
“By bringing together the most innovative scientific minds with leading edge technologies, we will accelerate cancer research discovery to reduce the burden of cancer. Just down the hall from our cancer hospital, teams of top scientists will be tackling the most pressing medical challenge of our time,” said Dr. Mary Beckerle, HCI’s CEO and director. “The Huntsmans and our other generous supporters have given all of us a tremendous gift, and it is now up to us to capitalize on this unique opportunity.”
In addition to Mr. and Mrs. Huntsman and Beckerle, speakers at the event include University of Utah President David W. Pershing, Ph.D.; Senior VP for Health Sciences Dr. Vivian S. Lee; Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Latter-day Saints, Elder M. Russell Ballard; Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert; United States Senator Orrin G. Hatch; Executive VP and COO, Intermountain Healthcare Laura S. Kaiser; and Former Governor and U.S. Ambassador, Jon. M. Huntsman, Jr. Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City, The Most Reverend John C. Wester will deliver the invocation, and The One Voice Children’s Choir will perform musical selections.
Huntsman Cancer Institute is located on the campus of the University of Utah and is part of the University of Utah Health Sciences system. The addition will extend from the southeast corner of the research arm of the original building and marks HCI’s fourth major construction phase. The first phase, The Jon M. Huntsman Research Center, was completed in 1999, and comprises 231,000-square-feet with three floors of research labs and a floor of outpatient clinics. The second phase, a 286,000-square-foot cancer specialty hospital with 50 inpatient rooms, opened in 2004. In the fall of 2011, a 156,000-square-foot expansion to the hospital, with 50 more inpatient rooms, was dedicated.
Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) is one of the world’s top academic research and cancer treatment centers. HCI manages the Utah Population Database - the largest genetic database in the world, with more than 16 million records linked to genealogies, health records and vital statistics. Using this data, HCI researchers have identified cancer-causing genes, including the genes responsible for melanoma, colon and breast cancer, and paraganglioma. HCI is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (a 23-member alliance of the world's leading cancer centers) and is a National Cancer Institute-Designated Cancer Center. HCI treats patients with all forms of cancer, and operates several high-risk clinics that focus on melanoma and breast, colon and pancreas cancers. The HCI Cancer Learning Center for patient and public education contains one of the nation's largest collections of cancer-related publications. The institute is named after Jon M. Huntsman, a Utah philanthropist, industrialist and cancer survivor.