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Brain Research Facility Opens in SF

By Sidney Bricker

Local News Editor

On Thursday, Oct. 23, the University of California San Francisco unveiled its latest project: a 535 million dollar, 282,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art neuroscience building on its Mission Bay campus. The Weill Neurosciences Building will be the country’s largest integrated neurology and neuroscience center, serving as a home base for physicians, medical scientists, and researchers to work in tandem towards finding treatments for brain diseases that have previously proven incurable. 

The building will open up many possibilities for neuroscience at the school. According to the University of California San Francisco, “the facility, which was designed to foster connections among scientists and clinicians in neurology, neurosurgery and psychiatry, will serve as a global destination for researchers to develop innovative treatments for intractable brain diseases.” It will also be the new center of UCSF’s Weill Institute for Neurosciences and the home of the Weill Neurohub, a research collaboration supporting groundbreaking, cross-campus research that launched in 2019 with UC Berkeley and the University of Washington. Neurohub’s work centers around accelerating the development of therapies for neurological disorders such as stroke, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s disease. “It’s anchored and focused on bringing together new technology, tools and expertise. As part of that, we are also opening our doors to everyone with good ideas,” said Dr. Stephen Hauser, the director of the Weill Institute for Neurosciences. According to UCSF Health, the building boasts a number of cutting-edge accommodations for patients including “convenient access to doctor visits, imaging and lab tests, infusion services, a compounding pharmacy, a new diagnostic clinic, and an integrated team of doctors, nurses, neuropsychologists, physical therapists and social workers, all focused on neurological health.” 

The building would not be possible without its benefactors and namesakes. “I felt very strongly that we include psychiatry under neurological diseases and take the stigma off it,” said Joan Weill, whose family foundation donated a sum of 185 million dollars towards UCSF’s construction of the building in 2016. The family’s donation is one of the most significant contributions to neuroscience research ever made in the US. Three years later, the foundation donated an additional 106 million dollars to aid in the launch of the Weill Neurohub. 

(Sources: UCSF Health, The SF Chronicle, UCSF, DPR Construction)


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