The Mass. Life Sciences Center will give the University of Massachusetts medical school $90 million to help build a new, $405 million research center in Worcester.
The gift to the Bay State’s sole public medical school is the quasi-public agency’s largest investment so far, according to MLSC president and CEO Susan Windham-Bannister.
The 500,000-square-foot Albert Sherman Center, set to be finished in 2012, is touted as a state-of-the-art research and education facility. It will house an “Advanced Therapeutics Cluster” made up of the RNA Therapeutics Institute, the Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine and the Gene Therapy Center.
The facility will also have wet research space for more than 100 researchers and host quantitative “dry lab” capabilities such as bioinformatics, biostatistics, interactive health outcome assessments and electronic healthcare data systems, linking those with the work going on in the wet labs.
According to an economic impact estimate by the UMass Donahue Institute, construction and operation of the Sherman Center could have a $1 billion impact on the Commonwealth’s economy. Its $405 million construction tab could generate about 6,000 jobs and $760 million in economic activity, according to the estimate. Once it’s up and running, the institute estimates, the center might mean 1,600 jobs and $264 million in annual economic activity.
Ground was broken on the project Sept. 17. It’s named for Albert Sherman, a prominent pharmacist and vice chancellor of the university’s medical school.