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VA Palo Alto cuts the ribbon on new Basic Science Research Center


August 1, 2022

Palo Alto , CA — On July 28, 2022, VA Palo Alto health care held a ribbon cutting ceremony for a New Basic Science Research Center at its Palo Alto campus.

The health care system hosted several executives from VA, including Chief Research and Development Officer, Office of Research and Development, Dr. Rachel Ramoni, and Assistant Under Secretary for Health, Discovery, Education and Affiliate Networks, Dr. Carolyn Clancy.

“It’s a very exciting time to be at VA, in VA research, and most specifically, at VA Palo Alto health care,” said Dr. Clancy, who gave the keynote remarks at the ceremony and spent the day learning about all the great initiatives underway at VA Palo Alto.

Those in attendance also heard remarks from VA Palo Alto's Director Lisa Howard, Associate Chief of Staff for Research, Dr. Jennifer Lee, and Chief of Staff, Dr. Michael Kozal. Dr. Lloyd Minor, Dean of Stanford University School of Medicine, and Dr. Ramoni also gave remarks at the event. Color guard was provided by the United States Marine Corps Recruiting Station San Francisco with the national anthem sung by Jamie Wong.

“The collaborative effort of VA, Stanford, and our research community is what really made this possible, and we could not be more grateful as the building allows for continued growth to expand our investigation to serve the future of health for our Veterans and for all of our communities,” said Director Howard.

The building first broke ground in 2016. From the patterns inspired by DNA sequencing on the building’s exterior to the dramatic 2-story, water-themed tapestry in the lobby, the design of this new Basic Science Research Center provides a welcoming environment for researchers while inspiring new medical advancements.

The tapestry also serves as a sound baffle for the lobby of the 2-story, 95,000 gross square foot building which also features an underground vivarium that is almost twice the square footage of the laboratory floors above. Sections of the subterranean levels have “green roofs,” which serve as patio and garden spaces on the ground floor.

On the first and second floors, principal investigators have office suites along the west side of the building with access to 6,400 square feet of open labs, each containing 56 benches that have a “quick disconnect” capability for easy reconfiguration.

There are conference rooms on each floor to further encourage collaboration, along with casual “break out” spaces provided in the glazed corridor along the building’s south side. These spaces include both seating and whiteboards. The building also features a utility level of approximately 31,000 gross square feet and a loading dock.

The state-of-the-art facility was designed to foster collaboration and knowledge sharing among world-class researchers, reinforcing VA Palo Alto as one of the top 3 research programs in the Veterans Health Administration with annual funding of approximately $70 million. Currently, there are 718 active research projects that are being conducted by approximately 300 principal investigators with nearly 1,700 research staff.

VA Palo Alto is home to a variety of national VHA research centers and programs, which are home to world-renowned scientists who have received notable awards including, but not limited to the 2021 Under Secretary’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Health Services Research, 2021 HSR&D Best Research Paper of the Year Award, and a Nobel Laureate in Medicine. In addition to these awards, nearly a thousand papers are published each year.

Please view the video and photos on Flickr commemorating this special event!

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Michael Hill-Jackson, Deputy Public Affairs Officer


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