College of

Dean's Update

A Message from Dean Marsha D. Rappley, MD

September 6, 2013


This week the University officially launched the first phase of planning for a new biomedical research building in downtown Grand Rapids. Currently, the College of Human Medicine has more than 15 principle investigators in Grand Rapids and we occupy all available research space. We have resources to recruit and cannot do so because of this limitation of space. I am confident that this planning phase will help the university diligently explore the opportunities we have to expand our research capacity.

Earlier this summer, the MSU Board of Trustees authorized the Administration to move forward with planning for development of the 7.85 acres of land in Grand Rapids (the former Grand Rapids Press building and five parking lots) the University bought in January 2012. Since that time, the University has assembled a multi-disciplinary team that is charged with creating a vision for MSU that will increase the research capacity of the University in Grand Rapids. The team will plan with city and business leaders a model facility that satisfies faculty, administrators and community partners. This includes looking at everything from sustainability to planning and zoning to technology.

In addition, faculty and students from MSU’s Land Policy Institute and School of Planning, Design and Construction met this morning to begin a first phase review of opportunities for research in Grand Rapids. The plan is that by the end of the year, a report will be delivered to the MSU Board of Trustees with study results and recommendations for the proposed biomedical building in Grand Rapids.

This planning begins at the same time that we develop the Biomedical Engineering Research Building in East Lansing that is expected to be operational in the next two years. This will greatly expand the University capacity around biomedical engineering. These two building projects not only make more research possible, but help us to move the research to a translational level that is so important to realizing the vision of the land grant institution, improving quality of life for our state, nation and world.

Thank you to all of you who give your time and effort to make this work possible, including all of our staff who do so much of the necessary and critical work that is never visible. The buildings can’t stand, the science can’t be done, and the learning never happens without all of you.

Marsha D. Rappley, M.D.
Dean, College of Human Medicine