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Wednesday, May 16, 2007


HHMI Janelia Farm Research Campus--Science heaven?!

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) spent $500 million to built its Janelia Farm Research Campus that lies along the Potomac River near Leesburg, Virginia. This project was spanned from 2003-2006. Upon completion, the 281-acre campus and its 760,000-square-foot complex will house a permanent research staff of 200 to 300 scientists who will carry out a broad range of biomedical research.

"Janelia Farm will be a distinctive, exciting collaborative place for chemists, physicists, computer scientists and engineers to share their expertise and invent new technologies that will reshape biomedical research."Said HHMI President Thomas R. Cech. They work together in multidisciplinary teams to solve challenging biological problems that are difficult to address in existing research settings. Such collaborative groups are "self-assembling" and not imposed in any way. This culture enhances academic freedom by allowing scientists to pursue long-term projects of high significance—projects that could not fit within the confines of a standard grant proposal.

Two primary goals drive the development of programs at Janelia Farm. The first is to establish a research program that places investigators at the interface between emerging technologies and their application to biomedical problems. Janelia Farm provides an opportunity for scientists to collaborate on long-term, multidisciplinary research in a facility specifically designed to support this type of activity.

The second goal is to make available project-oriented resources so that visitors can come together to solve interdisciplinary problems, often making use of new technologies. Up to now, there has been no well-equipped laboratory facility where a group of scientists, each bringing a few members of their research group, could come to work together for periods ranging from a few weeks to several years. No university or research institution is likely to dedicate the required laboratory space or research support for an activity that does not principally benefit its own faculty or teaching mission.Source: HHMI
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