MCW leadership along with supporters from the community and government representatives took part in the groundbreaking event at the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center. Once complete, the MCW Cancer Research Building will be the only cancer-dedicated research facility in Milwaukee and eastern Wisconsin. It will centralize the MCW cancer research programs, which now consist of nearly 700 researchers in 135 labs campus wide. It will also create space to enable more synergistic cancer research projects to take shape with community partners and research participants focused on improving health outcomes for patients.
Construction of the building is expected to be completed by late 2024. Construction costs will be approximately $100 million. In August, the State Building Commission approved $10 million for MCW in support of the new Cancer Research Building.
"The MCW Cancer Research Building will serve as a hub for cancer innovation and bring together the brightest minds to forge innovations that will address the cancer burden impacting patients and families in eastern Wisconsin and beyond," said John Raymond, Sr., MD, MCW President and CEO. "Perhaps most importantly, this facility will allow us to increase our attention to reduce cancer disparities among underrepresented groups in our communities."
Wisconsin has ranked above the national average for rates of cancer incidence and mortality, and has persisting disparities, both in geographic areas and among racial and ethnic minority populations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center is a research leader in the state, providing more than 200 clinical trials and community-driven interventions annually.
"We're making a long-term commitment to developing advanced research programs, additional faculty, and broader infrastructure that will convene brilliant physician scientists and researchers across disciplines to lead promising cancer studies right here in the Milwaukee area," said Joseph Kerschner, MD, Provost and Executive Vice President of MCW and the Julia A. Uihlein, MA, Dean of the MCW School of Medicine.
Gustavo Leone, Ph.D., Director of the MCW Cancer Center and the Dr. Glenn R. and Nancy A. Linnerson Endowed Chair for Cancer Research, said the new research facility will aid in attracting top-tier research talent, donors, and community members to join MCW's mission of improving cancer research and clinical care.
"We're all working together toward one goal — to eradicate cancer," Leone said. "The new cancer research building at MCW will be the place where diverse ideas and people intersect with state-of-the-art instrumentation and technology to solve the greatest challenges in cancer and bring palpable solutions to patients and our community."
Mortenson will serve as construction manager, alongside CannonDesign as architect on the MCW-led project team.