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Construction of new research building under way

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Phase II construction is scheduled to be completed in 2014.


ecent road closures may have been frustrating to those navigating the University of Mississippi campus, but the inconvenience contributed to a greater cause. The School of Pharmacy is constructing Phase II of its Thad Cochran Research Center, which will nearly double the school’s available research space.

“In late October, a huge crane with a lifting capacity of 500 tons was brought in to lift some very advanced HVAC equipment to the roof of our new building,” said Don Stanford, assistant director of the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences. “This mechanical equipment provides tremendous capacity for operating the labs but is still very energy-efficient. There is no other research building in the Southeast as technically sophisticated as this one.”

To deliver the crane to campus, 17 trucks transported the equipment piece by piece. When assembled, the crane weighed 220,000 pounds, making it the second largest crane on wheels in the nation.

Funded by several federal grants, the new portion of the Thad Cochran Research Center will complete the two-building National Center for Natural Products Research complex. The building was first planned in the early 1990s, when pharmacy school leaders outlined facilities to house the NCNPR.


The new building will include several cutting-edge facilities such as an area for clinical trials, an expanded botanical-specimen repository, laboratories for scaling-up synthesis of naturally derived compounds and laboratories for expanding efforts to discover natural products.

“This new research wing will complete a research complex that was envisioned decades ago, planned in detail over several years and then launched just recently due to the concerted efforts of our leaders in the School of Pharmacy and the UM administration,” Stanford said. “It is not intended just to provide more space but is designed to provide new capabilities for our research programs to expand into areas that will definitely have positive effects on human health.”

Phase II construction is scheduled to be completed in 2014.


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