Groundbreaking Research: New Building to Enable Multidisciplinary Research Collaboration

  • President Harrison and Provost Li wear hardhats and shovel dirt at research building groundbreaking.

    CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Yi Li dig in during the groundbreaking for Research Building 1. Photo by Lee Choo.

  • President Harrison speaks at groundbreaking.

    CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison addresses the gathering before the groundbreaking. Photo by Lee Choo.

  • Artist's rendering for new building.

    Artist's rendering for the new research building. Clerkin & Clerkin is the building architect, and 2H is the project contractor. Photo by Lee Choo.

When California State University, Northridge formalized research as one of the university’s seven priorities in 2012, even the most optimistic member of the campus community could hardly have imagined the impact. In 2016, the journal Nature named CSUN a Top 25 Rising Star for scientific research, along with Stanford, Carnegie Mellon and NASA. CSUN was the only public university in California on the list. On Feb. 7, CSUN took the first step toward even greater research success with the groundbreaking of the 10,000-square-foot Research Building 1.

Sited adjacent to Laurel Hall and slated to provide dedicated flexible and reconfigurable research space, Research 1 will enable and encourage multidisciplinary research teams of faculty and students to collaborate on a wide variety of projects. It will be the home for faculty from research clusters focused on materials science and health disparities.

“The new facility builds upon our research momentum,” CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison said. “I am confident that the new building environment will support and encourage even more research productivity at CSUN.”

Harrison and CSUN Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Yi Li emphasized the positive effects research have on students and the world.

“The research our faculty are conducting is critically important for our community and for social justice,” Li said. “Student success is our top priority, and the research that will take place in this building will add to the student experience, providing opportunities for engagement and hands-on learning.”

The typical research model has faculty grouped around a single discipline or specialty. Research 1 will facilitate a more collaborative and intentional interdisciplinary approach to research, including the BUILD PODER team that will call the building home. BUILD PODER is the result of a nearly $22 million National Institutes for Health grant to encourage the diversification of health sciences.

“The building is designed for clusters of multidisciplinary teams to solve complex socioeconomic and research challenges together,” Li said.

Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Programs Crist Khachikian welcomed a crowd of more than 100 CSUN faculty, staff and students to the groundbreaking. The building is expected to open in fall 2017. Clerkin & Clerkin is the building architect, and 2H is the project contractor.

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