News

Biotech Institute expanding to new space on STAR campus

22 May, 2019 | Alex Vuocolo | Delaware Business Times

The Delaware Biotechnology Institute will expand into 70,000 square feet within the new six-story, $160 million Biopharmaceutical Innovation Building on the STAR Campus next February.

The building, which includes labs, offices, collaborative space, and shared research instrumentation facilities, will be the home of the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL), a UD-led coalition of 150 companies, educational institutions, nonprofits and state governments.

Biopharmaceuticals are prescription drugs made with living cells.

“We need more space to support the expanding needs of life science researchers across campus,” said Dr. John Koh, the interim director of DBI and a UD professor in chemistry and biochemistry. “We’re not abandoning our current site, but expanding and moving our core facilities to support current and future initiatives on STAR campus. There’s an enormous difference between office space and wet research space. Being in the new building will also help us support the new NIIMBL program.”

The Delaware Biotechnology Institute is a magnet for life-science research and development. The institute supports multidisciplinary, collaborative research at all of Delaware’s research organizations, including the University of Delaware, Delaware State University, Christiana Care Health System, Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wesley College, and Delaware Technical and Community College.

The Institute houses research laboratories with scientists, students, and faculty working on projects related to agriculture, human health, and energy and the environment and also makes available high-end instrumentation facilities to Delaware’s entire life-science community. DBI researchers are focused on advanced sequencing technologies, imaging technologies, and computational capabilities.

NIIMBL is funded through a $70 million cooperative agreement with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the U.S. Department of Commerce and leverages additional commitments from partners.

Koh said the new building will be occupied by UD faculty from four colleges and will help faculty and staff that will help launch a new program in pharmaceutical sciences at the university. The Delaware Biotechnology Institute will take a little over two floors of the six-story building besides the 70,000 square feet it has in its current location at 15 Innovation Way.