Newly opened Jeffrey T. Fort Neuroscience Research Building dedicated

Video: WashU School of Medicine

Dozens of noted scientists, philanthropists, and university, state and local leaders gathered Jan. 18 to celebrate the dedication of one of the world’s largest neuroscience research buildings, a gleaming state-of-the-art facility on the Washington University Medical Campus.

They toured its sophisticated, newly christened labs; listened intently as Washington University scientists described the lifesaving work they aim to accomplish there; and absorbed inspirational words detailing the people, history and hopes behind the massive 609,000-square-foot, 11-story building.

“I see this building as the ultimate statement of our school, our university, our city, our state — that here in this place, in St. Louis, at the Gateway to the West, the most important advances in understanding the brain will happen,” David H. Perlmutter, MD, the George and Carol Bauer Dean of Washington University School of Medicine, told the gathering.

Those attending also celebrated the glistening structure’s brand-new name: the Jeffrey T. Fort Neuroscience Research Building, in recognition of a generous gift from Fort, a longtime supporter of the university. The name was a surprise announcement at the event, as was news of the building’s freshly titled McDonnell Lobby, following a gift from James and Elizabeth McDonnell. Members of the Fort and McDonnell families were present for the dedication. Chancellor Andrew D. Martin announced the gifts and thanked the families for their profound, ongoing support.

“We could not have attempted such a project without extraordinary help,” Martin said.

“As we dedicate this building, we stand on the threshold of a new era for medical science and a new era of catalytic impact for WashU Medicine,” the chancellor said. “The research conducted in this building will help the patients we serve and will unlock principles fundamental to the workings of the nervous system. Our understanding of those principles will lead to new therapies, new diagnostic tools and new drugs that can improve the lives of people around the globe.

“WashU’s reputation for excellence in neuroscience is already well known, but this building and the research that we will conduct here will mobilize our expertise in ways never before seen, making discoveries at the frontier of brain science to alleviate suffering and cure diseases once seen as incurable and intractable.”

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