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New Chicago Facility Spurs Collaboration and Discovery

The Simpson Querrey Biomedical Research Center unites physicians scientists under one roof.

simpson querrey opening
Northwestern professors Amy Paller ’83 GME and John Rogers spoke at the Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center dedication.

Fall 2019

At a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 17, Northwestern benefactors, trustees and administrators joined with other Chicago and Illinois dignitaries to officially open the Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center — the largest biomedical academic research building in the United States.

About 300 Northwestern supporters heard from several of the facility’s visionary philanthropists, including University Trustees Louis A. Simpson ’58 and Kimberly K. Querrey.

“The work that will be conducted here is mind-boggling,” Querrey said at the building dedication. “Lou and I are fortunate to be able to support the biomedical research community. And we’re humbled by the brilliant collaboration of the many scientists and physicians working together to transform human life.”

The 12-story, 625,000-square-foot facility will be a home for researchers from the Feinberg School of Medicine, the McCormick School of Engineering and the Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute. Designed to maximize collaboration, each floor accommodates 23 principal investigators and their teams in a flexible research neighborhood that focuses on a particular disease or therapy. By concentrating so many scientists in the same space, the building enhances opportunities for interdisciplinary interactions and breakthroughs in cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease and diabetes, among other maladies.

Located in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood, the center is right next door to many of Feinberg’s major clinical partners, including Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. Together, these institutions form one of the top medical districts in the world.

Throughout We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern, Simpson and Querrey have committed more than $196 million to the University, $90 million of which went toward the research center.

Their generous gifts have supported the Simpson Querrey Institute, endowed the Louis Simpson and Kimberly Querrey Professorship held by John Rogers and created the Simpson Querrey Center for Epigenetics at Feinberg.

In addition to the research floors, the Simpson Querrey Biomedical Research Center’s public spaces — such as the Potocsnak Family Atrium, the 160-seat Simpson Querrey Auditorium, the Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg Gallery, the Kabiller Student Commons and the Senyei Conference Center on the mezzanine level — will serve researchers, students and visitors for years to come.

“It’s a very exciting time for biomedical research at Northwestern,” Simpson said. “Kimberly and I are proud to be associated with the discoveries and the research that will come as a result of this building.”

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