More than 400 people from academia, industry and government attended the ribbon cutting of the new James L. Sorenson Molecular Biotechnology Building – A USTAR Innovation Center at the University of Utah Thursday, April 19.
U of U President David Pershing hosted a roster of speakers that included Gov. Gary R. Herbert, members of the Sorenson family, and Dr. Dinesh Patel and Scott Anderson of the USTAR Governing Authority.
The $130 million interdisciplinary research facility – funded by the state’s USTAR initiative and private donations – is situated between the Health Sciences upper campus and the main campus with its engineering and other resources. It is a fitting crossroads for bringing together researchers, clinicians, engineers and industry, according to Patel.
The building’s 23,000 square-foot nanofabrication and imaging facility was a highlight of the public tours that followed the ribbon cutting. USTAR researchers in neuroscience, biomedical innovations, nanotechnology and other focus areas opened up their laboratories to visitors as well.
A true sports fan, Gov. Herbert struck a light tone in the opening remarks. He noted that U of U’s admission into the PAC-12 allows university football players to go “mano y mano” on the field with other top programs, and that the new biotech building allows university researchers to go “nano y nano” as well.
Zions Bank CEO Scott Anderson coined a phrase to inspire people who work in the building. “I would like to see a motto over the doorway, ‘Enter to innovate. Depart to transform industries and change the future of the world.’”