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Chris Schneider, Media Relations Virginia Mason Phone: 206.583.6451
SEATTLE -- Virginia Mason Research Center (VMRC) announced today a major financial contribution from Bill and Melinda Gates as preparations intensify for this summer's opening of the new Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason. Earlier this week, the William H. Gates Foundation donated $1 million to support construction and equipment needs at the new facility.
The Benaroya Research Institute, located at 9th and Seneca in Seattle, began construction in Sept. 1997 and is scheduled to be completed in July 1999. Total cost for the new facility is $33 million, with funding coming from a mixture of taxable and tax-exempt bonds as well as private philanthropy.
"Private philanthropy is important to Virginia Mason and we are honored by Bill and Melinda Gates' support in launching this major new facility for biomedicine in Seattle," said Roger Lindeman, M.D., CEO of Virginia Mason. "The new center is a cornerstone for the growth of Virginia Mason's scientific research programs. Our deepest hope is that scientists' discoveries there will lead to cures for today's most perplexing diseases."
When it opens in July, the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason will be a significant addition to the Northwest's biomedical research community. The building project represents a milestone for VMRC and Virginia scientists, who will have a state-of-the-art facility to continue their valuable work.
VMRC is already internationally recognized for its cutting-edge research in basic science, clinical research, molecular biology and the genetic aspects of autoimmune diseases. Medical breakthroughs attributed to researchers at VMRC include the identification of the genes that cause rheumatoid arthritis and the genes responsible for type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
The new five-story facility which houses the Benaroya Research Institute, will almost triple the research space currently available to staff. In addition, the new facility will keep the research center on Virginia Mason Medical Center's main campus, supporting the medical center's "bench-to-bedside" philosophy of providing the latest medical advances to its patients.
VMRC is an integral part of Virginia Mason Medical Center, founded in 1920. Virginia Mason Medical Center is a nonprofit comprehensive regional health care system that combines a primary and specialty care group practice of nearly 400 physicians with a 336-bed acute care Seattle hospital. In addition, Virginia Mason has 16 community clinics located throughout the greater Puget Sound area and manages Bailey-Boushay House, a nursing residence and adult day health program for people living with HIV and AIDS.
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