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33 labs within DGSOM pack up for new, centrally located, collaborative space.
Human health depends on complex interactions between biological systems. To better understand these interactions, an interdisciplinary community of scientists moved into UCLA’s Center for Health Sciences South Tower. The experts work on disparate systems, but they all want to solve similar health problems.
In the South Tower, experts think, work, and discover across disciplines.
“The biomedical challenges of the 21st Century will be solved by scientific communities – networks of scientists with common interests but diverse skills and expertise. ” - Kelsey Martin, MD, PhD, Dean, DGSOM
Scientists studying degenerative brain diseases collaborate with scientists studying degenerative bone diseases, finding commonalities to inform novel treatments. The entire community exchanges ideas and knowledge, answers each other’s questions, and even shares equipment. Casual day-to-day conversations could spark ideas that lead to biomedical breakthroughs.
Teams of movers, chemical specialists, and lab members worked together to make this seamless process as efficient as possible.
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It took the teams five years of planning and preparation to make the idea of a novel collaborative research space a reality.
The move at a glance:
The move gave many researchers the collaborative space they’ve always dreamed of.
“A true collaborative space, in my mind, involves three essential components: people, food and science, all in an open space with no walls. I can only imagine the positive impact this kind of layout will have on the volume and content of scientific discussions and mentorship. I have never felt the same vibes in any institution I have ever visited or worked at,” says Orian Shirihai, MD, PhD, who chairs the UCLA Metabolism Research Theme.
Questions in basic science inform translational and clinical research, creating pathways for cures. Patient data is collected, feeding back to basic science, where new questions are asked.
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Interdisciplinary cooperation in the South Tower accelerates the journey of ideas from bench to bedside and back again.
South Tower scientists benefit from the resources and knowledge of a community that includes both basic science researchers and clinical practitioners.
"There are so many smart people here at UCLA doing so many different things. When you need a partner to help you with something, you can find at least ten people who are experts in that specific field," says Steven D. Mittelman, MD, PhD, part of the Metabolism Research Theme.
When researchers easily find the equipment or answers they need, it takes less time to answer questions and make discoveries.