Inside MSU’s new research center in Grand Rapids

Michigan State University Grand Rapids Research Center
Workers put the finishing touches on the Michigan State University Grand Rapids Research Center. (Sept. 8, 2017)


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — We’re getting our first look inside the newest addition to Grand Rapids’ Medical Mile, which will bring innovative medicine and minds to West Michigan.

The Michigan State University Grand Rapids Research Center has been two years in the making. Ahead of the facility’s Sept. 22 introduction to the public, 24 Hour News 8 got a tour with the dean of MSU’s College of Human Medicine, Norman J. Beauchamp Jr.

“A lot of what we want to try to do is build on the great synergy that’s already here and then bring strengths in from (MSU). So we’re really proud of this building, how welcoming it is and how it just says collaboration and cooperation,” Beauchamp said.

The $88 million project began after the old Grand Rapids Press building was torn down on the same site in 2015. The architect paid tribute to its history by repurposing copper facing from the press building’s exterior onto a wall built under the center staircase of the research building.

Michigan State University Grand Rapids Research Center
A Sept. 8, 2017 photos shows the interior of the newly built Michigan State University Grand Rapids Research Center.

Each floor will specialize in different research studies. Thirty-three principal investigators will work with teams focusing on neuroscience, women’s health science, children’s health science and cancer research.

For instance, “why does Alzheimer’s happen? Can we detect it early? How do we prevent it? So we have some of the best researchers in the world dedicated to that,” the dean explained.

The research center will collaborate with Spectrum Health, the Van Andel Institute, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital and Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services.

The new state-of-the-art research center offers another way Michigan State University can continue to grow in Grand Rapids.

“People want to come to a community that’s exciting to live in and this is that, so it really comes together… We can recruit anyone from anywhere now. No question,” Beauchamp said.

The public is invited to tour the building Sept. 22 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, visit the MSU College of Human Medicine’s website.