Opening celebration of Biomedical Science Research Building
February 9, 2006
I want to join in welcoming to campus Governor Granholm and all of our elected officials. And a special thanks to the University’s executive officers, deans and department chairs, many of whom have contributed mightily to making today’s celebration possible.
We have a love of acronyms at the University. LSA, LSI. CCRB, USB. DPS and SAB. ISR, RC and CEW.
And now we have the newest addition, BSRB. So let me tell you what that stands for.
Collaboration. Synergy. And solutions.
As Regent Newman said, our life sciences complex is now complete. We have built a nucleus of facilities that fuse the energy of their impressive neighbors: medicine, engineering, public health, kinesiology, pharmacy, chemistry, biology, dentistry, and nursing. It is a campus within a campus, with magnificent laboratories, interactive classrooms and, as you can see, unique auditoriums.
But this is about far more than buildings. It is about the people of Michigan and what they bring to this enterprise. These buildings are merely vessels for our most important resource — intellectual talent — and they are specifically intended to help that talent grow, and thrive, and spread.
We are one of the very few universities in the world that offers all of the disciplines that must be brought to bear upon difficult problems. Science and medicine, in particular, are increasingly complex fields, with tremendous advances — and challenges — in genomics, drug delivery and stem cell research.
No longer can researchers in any one discipline, working in isolation, find the solutions to truly complicated diseases and conditions. It's just not possible, nor is it practical.
I spent some 20 years conducting research in a lab, and I know how they work. Rather, how they worked — past tense. Because today, at Michigan, the emphasis is not on, “How much square footage do I have,” but rather, “Who do I get to work with? What ideas can I draw upon? When can we get started?”
We are seeing it in the Life Sciences Institute, and we will see it in this building. This is a medical facility where words like “infectious” and “contagious” will be welcomed and encouraged. And that is because we believe in laboratories without walls and research without barriers.
It is happening every day at Michigan, in labs directed by Jim Baker, Doug Engel, Karin Muraszko and scores of others. It is our legacy at Michigan, our ability to work across disciplines to find solutions for our future. And it will expand with the opening of the BSRB and all that it offers researchers eager to explore in new directions.
I now have privilege of introducing the leader of our great state, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm.
This past summer, I was invited to join the governor on an economic development trip to Japan, where we met with corporations interested in expanding their investments in life sciences. That trip, which is already paying dividends with new ventures in our state, made it abundantly apparent to me that our governor has a clear vision for Michigan’s economy, our schools, our children and our fight for jobs.
She is currently focused on improving Michigan’s economy through a comprehensive Jobs Today, Jobs Tomorrow plan; and she also recently proposed a first-in-the-nation program that would award $4,000 to every Michigan student who completes two years of college.
All institutions thrive on having a leader with great vision and passion, and we have that in Governor Granholm. She is an honorary alumna of our university, and we are very excited to have her back on campus with us today.
Please join me in welcoming Michigan’s governor, Jennifer M. Granholm.