Wayne State and Karmanos to Build $450M Cancer Research Hub in Midtown Detroit

Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, both in Detroit, plan to construct an estimated $450-million building complex consisting of two towers that will further their unique academic and research-based partnership.
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A new $450-million cancer research hub from WSU School of Medicine and Karmanos Cancer Institute is expected to be two towers built in midtown Detroit. // Courtesy of WSU
A new $450-million cancer research hub from WSU School of Medicine and Karmanos Cancer Institute is expected to be two towers built in midtown Detroit. // Courtesy of WSU

Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, both in Detroit, plan to construct an estimated $450-million building complex consisting of two towers that will further their unique academic and research-based partnership.

The project received a boost with the recent appropriation of $100 million from the state of Michigan. WSU and Karmanos plan to house collaborative medical education, research laboratories, health science, and community health clinics in the new spaces. The investment will provide employment opportunities for Detroit-area residents, as well as attract and retain new talent.

Planned to be built at a yet-to-be-determined location near the two campuses in Midtown Detroit, the new complex will be designed as a Detroit hub where faculty, students, researchers, and scientists work together to ensure healthier outcomes.

The medical education facility will educate future generations of physicians and scientists. The research-focused portion of the complex will accommodate state-of-the-art cancer research laboratories to develop breakthrough technologies and treatments.

“Given the scope of the project, I am confident it will have a transformational impact on the state’s workforce and talent development pipeline — particularly in health care; contribute to the vitality of Midtown and the city’s positive economic development; and close health equity gaps through the deepening of our partnership with Karmanos,” says Dr. M. Roy Wilson, president of Wayne State. “We are grateful to the state Legislature and governor for recognizing the value of higher education in general, and research universities like Wayne State in particular.”

The 75-year partnership between Wayne State and Karmanos has led to many health care innovations for the region, Michigan and the world.

“Wayne State has been a tremendous partner in the fight against cancer and discovering breakthroughs in cancer treatment,” says Dr. Gerold Bepler, president and CEO of the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. “Both institutions rely on philanthropic donors and community investments to continue research, and we are thrilled that our state legislators see the value and need for our partnership.

“We also extend tremendous appreciation to Peter Karmanos, Jr., for his assistance in bringing our ideas to Lansing. The Karmanos and WSU partnership allows us to provide the best cancer treatments and care to patients across Michigan and northern Ohio. This new site will enhance our collaboration in research, discoveries, and education, moving us closer to a world free of cancer.”

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