GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Michigan State University is preparing to open its new $88 million research center.

The Grand Rapids Medical Research Center opens next week, the Grand Rapids Press reported.

Scientists at the center will research cures and treatments for diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and cancer. The focus will be on neuroscience, women’s health science, children’s health science and cancer.

Each floor in the six-story building can accommodate up to 11 research teams, each headed by a principal investigator and a team of about six researchers. Nearly 150 employees are expected to move into the 162,800-square-foot building before the end of the year.

“A building like this makes attracting top researchers that much easier,” said Jerry Kooiman, the university’s assistant dean for external relations.

The facility will be the “gateway” to Grand Rapids’ “Medical Mile,” which is home to the university’s Secchia Center, the Van Andel Research Institute and Spectrum Health.

The research center will collaborate with those institutions as well as with Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital and Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services to access their clinical systems.

“That is the excitement of being in Grand Rapids, you have that collaboration going,” Kooiman said.

The facility was also designed to consume more than 70 percent less energy than similar research buildings.

Future plans call for two more undetermined buildings constructed to house companies that want to collaborate on the research.

Most of the facility will be closed to the public except for the lobby and a meeting room on the ground floor. Before that, the public can tour the building Sept. 22.


Information from: The Grand Rapids Press, http://www.mlive.com/grand-rapids