Wednesday, January 24, 2001

UC gets empty labs at Aventis

By Patrick Stack
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        As early as this fall, 40 University of Cincinnati Medical Center scientists could be at work in labs and offices in Reading donated by Aventis Pharmaceuticals.

        UC's board of directors accepted the donation Tuesday. The 360,000 square feet are on 23 acres at Aventis' manufacturing site. It is valued at more than $100 million.

        UC hopes to begin preparations for the site in the next few months, with research starting in the fall, said Dr. Donald Harrison, senior vice president and provost for health affairs at UC. The research staffs will bring employment up to 400 at the site.

        “It's really going to boost our research capabilities with these new facilities,” Dr. Harrison said.

        UC signed a memorandum of understanding last spring to use the site, formerly owned by Hoechst Marion Roussel and vacant since 1998, said Toni Sweeney, manager of human resources for Aventis in Cincinnati. Hoechst Marion Roussel later merged and became part of Aventis.

        Gene research at the facility will focus on treatments for cancer, heart disease, neurological and behavioral disorders and early childhood illness, Dr. Harrison said. UC Medical Center has not determined which specific research departments will be located at the facility.

        UC Medical Center officials hope the facility will lure new faculty as part of their Millennium Research Plan, which is designed to double outside support for biomedical research and add 250 researchers to UC Medical Center staff by 2006.


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