OHSU opens new institute charged with eradicating cancer

September 15, 2018 by  

The official opening of the new Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Knight Cancer Institute took place Friday, September 7.

The new building was designed to facilitate the Institute’s primary mission: to find a cure for cancer. To that end, the Portland building was designed to be relatively small and without large expanses of empty space, making it more likely that researchers from various projects will meet up by chance during the day.

Previously researchers were spread out across the OHSU campus so the odds of those with a biochemistry background rubbing elbows with those with a genetics background were long. The new building has everyone in one structure with smaller work areas, and in some cases sharing some equipment.

It is hoped that by increasing the odds of chance meetings, ideas will be shared and new insights generated by the interaction among scientists conducting different types of cancer research. In all, once everyone is moved in, the business cards of 650 researchers will list the address of the Knight Cancer Institute as their work address.

The fundraising was for $1bn and the cost of the building was $190m, which left most of the money for research. The money spent on the building came mostly from the state and private citizens. Phil Knight founder of Nike donated $500m with a stipulation that it be matched by other fundraisers.