Minister for Health officially opens new Human Biology Building at NUI Galway

3 July 2018 13:37 - BAM Contractors Ltd
Minister for Health, Mr Simon Harris TD (left) and NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh.

Bridging the gap between medicine and science through teaching future medics and facilitating cutting-edge research

(Press release NUI Galway:) Galway, Ireland, 3 July 2018 - Minister for Health, Mr Simon Harris TD will today (Monday, 2 July) officially open NUI Galway’s €34 million Human Biology Building, bringing together the existing disciplines of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology & Therapeutics at the University. The building will be home to undergraduate and post-graduate teaching and will carry out cutting-edge research by academics from throughout the campus in the areas of Science and Medicine, and Engineering.

The Human Biology Building, funded by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and NUI Galway will create a platform for discovery, development and delivery. It will also build on the output of NUI Galway’s cluster of world-leading biomedical research groups in areas such as regenerative medicine and stem cell research, cancer biology (particularly breast and prostate cancer) biomechanics and biomaterials.

Speaking at the opening, Minister for Health, Mr Simon Harris TD, said:

‘I’m delighted to officially open this building and its facilities, which will extend the capacity for and delivery of biomedical research at NUI Galway. NUI Galway researchers are tackling some of the most pressing issues of our times and the opening of this new building will, I hope, help to strengthen the university’s deserved international reputation as being amongst the very best in the provision of research-led education.’

Teaching

The Human Biology building has been designed and developed as a joint teaching and research facility to provide these long established disciplines of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology & Therapeutics, a platform to deliver:

  • core pre-clinical teaching to Medical and allied Health Science students
  • core teaching to Science, Biomedical Science and Engineering students
  • provide a purpose-designed venue for discipline-specific training at undergraduate and postgraduate level
  • and enhance learning and teaching within a research-led environment.

There is currently teaching to over 200 medical undergraduates in the building along with transformative clinical teaching also taking place in state-of-the art laboratories. There are an additional 100 final year Science undergraduate students studying the three disciplines of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology & Therapeutics along with postgraduate students on taught masters programmes from areas of Science and Medicine.

Research

The building will house academics from various research groups on campus such as CÚRAM, REMEDI, School of Psychology, and Galway Neuroscience Centre. There are also PhD students working in the three disciplines of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology and Therapeutics through research funded by the Irish Research Council (IRC), Health Research Board (HRB), Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and industry partners.

The opening of the Human Biology Building sees the completion of a capital projects programme undertaken by the University some decades ago, which was enabled by a combination of philanthropy and State support, while funding from the European Investment Bank, in its first ever loan to the University, assisted in the completion of this new building. In recent years the University has opened a new Engineering building, a new Biomedical Sciences building, and a unique clinical and translational research facility. Taken together these three facilities along with the new human biology building complete an ecosystem of education, research, innovation and healthcare in the West of Ireland.

NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said:

‘We are delighted to mark the opening of our new Human Biology Building, which will transform the learning environment for our health science students.  By having access to the best facilities, our students will be supported to realise their potential and make a real impact in their chosen field. Investment in education is vital for our regional development and continued funding is imperative so that our new buildings can be great places to learn, teach and research in. Our students compete with the best of the world and so must we.’

The Building

The Human Biology Building is a five-storey state-of-the-art building with a gross floor area of 8,200m². It is strategically located in the University’s south campus with close proximity to University Hospital Galway.

The building has been developed on a previously developed site on which stood the former National Diagnostics Laboratory building. It was designed by award-winning architects, Scott Tallon Walker Architects, in conjunction with international design firm, Building Design Partnership, while BAM Building Ltd was the contractor.

Professor Timothy O’Brien, Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at NUI Galway, said:

‘The Human Biology Building will provide the next generation of scientists, doctors and healthcare professionals with a world class learning environment and will also provide our academics and researchers with state of the art facilities to further the teaching and research mission of the University. The structure of the building is state of the art, will greatly facilitate enhanced interactions between staff and students, and will provide superior technical and operational capabilities that underpin a research and innovation intensive environment.’