Published Sep 22, 2023 by Hailea Schultz
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center broke ground this week on a new $668 million research facility at the Texas Medical Center’s Helix Park.
Encompassing 600,000 square feet, the South Campus Research Building 5 (SCRB5) will anchor the institution’s expansive south campus research park and connect to TMC’s 37-acre Helix Park. The facility will serve as a hub for collaboration, offering space for researchers and scientists to gather to advance research and discoveries that will bolster efforts to end cancer.
“With input from hundreds of MD Anderson teammates, we have carefully designed this building and our research campus to foster collaboration, to stimulate creativity and to fuel breakthroughs that will improve the lives of patients here and around the globe,” said Dr. Peter Pisters, President of MD Anderson.
Designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects, the seven-story building will house several of MD Anderson’s strategic research programs, including the James P. Allison Institute, and feature state-of-the-art facilities, flexible research areas, and public spaces, including a restaurant, a conference center, and several lecture environments for scheduled discussions and gatherings. SCRB5 is expected to be completed in the spring of 2026.
The innovative new building will also “maximize sustainability and efficiency while optimizing the experience of those working within,” according to a press release. “The surrounding green spaces, connecting pathways, gathering spots and places for reflection and inspiration will set a new standard for other research institutions across the country.”
MD Anderson joins three other institutions that announced earlier this year they would also be joining the world-class life science campus.
In January, Baylor College of Medicine was announced as the anchor tenant of the 355,000-square-foot Dynamic One building, the first of four industry buildings at TMC’s Helix Park. Baylor will lease 114,000 square feet in the building’s North Tower. Dynamic One is expected to open in Q4 of this year.
Over the summer, the UTHealth Houston School of Public Health broke ground on a cutting-edge $299 million research facility. The 10-story tower will span 350,000 square feet and will house research laboratories and collaborative spaces focusing on targeting underserved border communities and DNA sequence analysis. The new facility is expected to open in the fall semester of 2026.
Chicago-based venture capital firm Portal Innovations also announced that it will occupy 30,000 square feet of lab and office space within Helix Park’s TMC3 Collaborative Building, which is expected to open later this year. The firm will move into Helix Park’s TMC3 in 2024 and will work to nurture early-stage biotech and medtech startups.
The first phase of Helix Park is expected to open this fall, and TMC will host a grand opening celebration in collaboration with the Greater Houston Partnership at the organization’s annual State of the Texas Medical Center event on October 26. Attendees will get an exclusive opportunity to experience the complex with an immersive tour.
TMC’s Helix Park and the addition of the new developments aims to further boost the region’s life sciences ecosystem by attracting top talent, driving economic growth, and increasing our regional competitiveness, ultimately strengthening Houston’s position as a leading hub for innovation, health care, research, and education.
Learn more about Houston’s thriving life sciences sector.