Med School’s new Biomedical Research Building opens, brings community together


McALLEN — A partnership between the community, academia and the medical professional sector celebrated their dedication in addressing healthcare needs in the Rio Grande Valley through the opening of a new facility.

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine celebrated the opening of the Biomedical Research Building with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. McAllen city officials, university administrators and DHR Health representatives celebrated the building’s significance in facilitating health care and research on Wednesday at the Biomedical Research building. McAllen Mayor Jim Darling along with other officials presented a check of $1 million from the city.

The building will alleviate space issues and shows the growth of medical education within the area, School of Medicine Dean John Krouse said.

Not only will the building improve the university’s capability for research, but will support the community, Krouse said. Researchers conduct studies on cervical cancer, diabetes and other health problems that impact the Rio Grande Valley. Retaining homegrown professionals, training the next generation and making the area a center for health care are among the goals of the program. The facility will help bring these together.

“No one in the Valley should need to leave the Valley for care, we have world-class care here,” Krouse said in his remarks.

The 83,032-square-foot facility boasts new amenities such as 16 research labs, a vivarium and several conference and meeting rooms according to a news release.

Refreshments were served and attendees went on tour as the building opened its doors to the community.

These buildings symbolize the success and growth of the area, UTRGV President Guy Bailey said in a speech. A research group dedicated to studying diabetes and obesity has grown from an initial team of about 20 people with about $12 million in funding, has now more than doubled in both manpower and financial support.

“The impact that this has is enormous,” Bailey said.

The building will help grow the area economically and will attract research grants, said Andrew Tsin, UTRGV’s senior associate dean of research.

The public having an understanding of scientists and their research is important, and this ceremony is a step in the right direction toward building that relationship, he said. The funds from the city are appreciated and will assist in recruiting and purchasing equipment.

“We have to connect with the community, and that’s what this medical school would be doing,” Tsin said.