Regents approve construction of new College of Pharmacy building for UNMC

Center for Drug Discovery will be key part of project

Center for Drug Discovery will be key part of project      

The University of Nebraska Board of Regents Friday approved the program statement and budget for construction of a new College of Pharmacy and Center for Drug Discovery building at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

The $35 million project is expected to begin construction in February 2014, with projected completion set for July 2015. It will be paid for by private donations with no state funds used. UNMC is working with the University of Nebraska Foundation to secure private support.

“Today the College of Pharmacy is recognized as one of the outstanding institutions for pharmacy education and research, and our graduates are influencing the quality of health care in communities across Nebraska and the U.S.,” said UNMC Chancellor Harold M. Maurer, M.D. “This state-of-the-art facility will allow our medical center to take yet another step toward achieving world-class status.”

The planned College of Pharmacy and Center for Drug Discovery project will completely replace and expand the now outdated education space of the College of Pharmacy and increase its research capacity by constructing a new three- or four-level, 85,000-square-foot building on the UNMC campus in Omaha.

The project will:

Provide contemporary education space, equipped with the advanced technology needed to deliver pharmacy education and active learning in the 21st century;

Provide laboratory and research support space designed to accommodate the specific technical needs of pharmaceutical research in three areas: drug discovery and development, drug delivery, and clinical and translational research; and

Meet Nebraska’s need for pharmacy graduates who are well prepared for an expanding and evolving role as health care providers into the foreseeable future.

Patient care simulation and instructional space will emphasize the increasing role of pharmacists in providing primary health care by incorporating a contemporary model pharmacy, a sterile compounding room and practice areas for patient assessment and point of care testing. Student interaction and study areas will be designed to optimize collaborative learning.

Research activities conducted in the integrated Center for Drug Discovery will be especially focused on infectious diseases. “No other academic medical center in the U.S. has a drug discovery program with a similar focus,” Dr. Maurer said.

Said Courtney Fletcher, Pharm.D., dean of the College of Pharmacy: “This is a unique opportunity to imagine and improve the future of human health. This building will be a home for excellence in pharmacy education and innovation in drug discovery and development.”

Dean Fletcher noted that the new building will open during the 100th year anniversary of the founding of the College of Pharmacy at UNMC. “In this new world-class facility, we will educate the next generations of pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, and leaders,” he said, “and UNMC’s 100-year history of leadership and preeminence in pharmacy education and research will continue.”

The facility will be built east of the Michael F. Sorrell Center for Health Science Education at approximately 41st and Emile Street. The close proximity of the old and new College of Pharmacy buildings will facilitate the continuity of collaboration among pharmacy research faculty.

The building’s location on the Ruth and Bill Scott Student Plaza near other UNMC college buildings will promote an inter-professional educational experience.

The building will be designed according to the University of Nebraska Sustainable Design Policy with the intent of achieving LEED-certified level.

Through world-class research and patient care, UNMC generates breakthroughs that make life better for people throughout Nebraska and beyond. Its education programs train more health professionals than any other institution in the state. Learn more at unmc.edu.


Tom O'Connor
UNMC Public Relations
(402) 559-4690 (office)
(402) 650-7063 (cell)

Kalani Simpson
UNMC Public Relations
(402) 559-7847
(402) 968-7726