Gladstone Institutes Dedicate Mission Bay Research Building

December 07, 2004
The J. David Gladstone Institutes, celebrating its 25th anniversary of scientific collaboration and achievement, dedicated its new six-story biomedical research building in Mission Bay on Monday. "This striking building marks a true milestone in Gladstone's history," said Gladstone President Robert Mahley, MD, PhD. "With its enhanced technologies and with the many new opportunities that it provides for collaboration, it ensures that the San Francisco Bay Area will continue to be an international hub of research into such diseases as cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS and Alzheimer's disease." The Gladstone Institutes has a long and rich record of basic research achievements in such areas as cardiovascular disease, immunology, virology and neurodegenerative disorders. The new building -- the first life sciences neighbor to UCSF Mission Bay -- provides approximately 200,000 square feet of space for laboratories and offices, and a 150-seat auditorium just off the first-floor lobby. It houses the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology and the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease. The building stands as a tangible manifestation of the legacy of J. David Gladstone, a successful real estate developer who left his estate to medical research. A quarter century ago, three visionary men, Glastone Trustees Richard S. Brawerman, Richard D. Jones and David Orgell, recruited a team of pioneering scientists from the National Institutes of Health to launch what would become the J. David Gladstone Institutes. The initial seven scientists, led by Mahley, began work on Sept. 1, 1979. With the move to Mission Bay, the Gladstone Institutes will grow to more than 500 researchers, all engaged in discovering new medications and novel treatments or identifying new risk factors for debilitating diseases. Robert Mahley Mahley opened the morning dedication ceremony to a standing-room-only crowd gathered in the building's 150-seat auditorium. (See video clip in either QuickTime or Real format. Or Download QuickTime or Real media players.) Among others participating in that dedication ceremony were UCSF Chancellor Mike Bishop and former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown. Chancellor Bishop welcomed the Gladstone community to the Mission Bay neighborhood, marveling that he could now walk freely across the UCSF campus to the Gladstone building without encountering construction barriers. He commended Gladstone leaders as determined and disciplined stewards of public health research and credited Mahley for the building's opening, which he described as the "culmination of his achievements at the Gladstone." In lieu of a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Gladstone's three trustees unveiled a bust of founder J. David Gladstone, whose 1971 will created an endowment for medical research. The new building, located at 1650 Owens Street, will house all the Gladstone basic science research. Designed by architects NBBJ, the $74 million Gladstone building project features several "firsts" in San Francisco's annals of large-scale building projects. The structure is the first privately financed life sciences research facility to be approved by the city's building department, and it's the first major steel-frame building to use an unbonded brace-frame system. The diagonal braces act like automobile shock absorbers during an earthquake and absorb most of the lateral forces of a temblor. For years, Gladstone's approximately 325 staff members have been scattered in several buildings in and around San Francisco General Hospital. In the late 1990s, Gladstone trustees purchased land at Mission Bay to build new laboratories. Design began in the spring of 2002, construction started in March of last year and was completed this September, and move-in was nearly completed by November. While independent, Gladstone is formally affiliated with UCSF. Gladstone investigators hold UCSF appointments and participate in many UCSF activities, including the teaching and training of postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. The move to Mission Bay will support synergies among Gladstone researchers and their UCSF colleagues. The new structure is designed to promote interaction. Each Gladstone institute has its own floor with approximately 100 workstations, or bench spaces, stretching in rows from one end of the building to the other. Laboratory floors are arranged in three long stripes: bench spaces on one side, administrative offices and cubes on the other, and specialized facilities down the center. Research and office areas are open and can be easily reconfigured to suit the changing needs of scientists and support staff. A highlight of the building's lobby and reception area is a museum-quality trio of large-format drawings by renowned California artist Wayne Thiebaud. Titled "City Views," it is a 2004 mixed-media-on-canvas triptych featuring a Potrero Hill cityscape. Thiebaud is one of the most prominent Bay Area painters of the latter part of the 20th century. The day-long celebration concluded with a banquet featuring the inauguration of the first-ever Gladstone Trustee Awards. Honored recipients will be former UCSF Chancellors Julius Krevans and Joseph Martin, both of whom played crucial roles in the growth of the Gladstone Institutes through the years, and former San Francisco Mayor Brown, who successfully championed Gladstone's move to Mission Bay while he was in office. Source: John Watson Video by Lisa Cisneros Related Links J. David Gladstone Institutes