Feb. 21 Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony to Celebrate Opening of Skaggs Addition

The University of Arizona College of Pharmacy will celebrate the culmination of a goal set several years ago with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the completion of the newly expanded Skaggs Pharmaceutical Sciences Center, which will house the Arizona Center for Drug Discovery.

The ceremony will take place Friday, Feb. 21, at 11 a.m., at the Skaggs Pharmaceutical Sciences Center, 1703 E. Mabel St., Tucson, AZ, 85721. The $26-million expansion provides additional space for new chemistry laboratories that will be used for drug discovery and development and research in the areas of pharmaceutics, pharmacogenomics and pharmacology.

The project includes a new, 20,000 square-foot two-story addition along with renovating 12,000 square feet of existing rooms to provide modern research labs and associated support space. The addition also includes 2,000 gross square feet to expand the College of Pharmacy's History of Pharmacy Museum, which is scheduled to open later this year. The total area of the Skaggs building now exceeds 74,000 square feet.

Since Skaggs’ initial opening in 1982, the building has been the site of countless research breakthroughs. Researchers working out of Skaggs have licensed a small-molecule drug aimed at shortening the lives of cancer cells, developed therapies for Alzheimer’s disease and Down’s syndrome and developed one of the most promising influenza antivirals in preclinical development today.

Scheduled speakers for the ribbon-cutting include: UArizona President Robert C. Robbins, MD; UArizona Health Sciences Senior Vice President Michael D. Dake, MD; UArizona Foundation President and CEO John-Paul “JP” Roczniak, and UArizona College of Pharmacy Dean Rick G. Schnellmann, PhD. Tours of the facility will be offered to attendees of the event. 

The renovation and expansion was led with a $10-million challenge grant from the ALSAM Foundation, a Utah-based trust founded by L.S. and Aline W. Skaggs – the same donors for whom the building is named. Additionally, major contributions were provided by the college’s National Advisory Board members, UArizona, its alumni, faculty, students, staff and friends.

“Without this expansion, the college would not have the research and educational capabilities to be a Top 5 college of pharmacy,” Dean Schnellmann noted. “This expansion will allow the College of Pharmacy to remain on the forefront of drug discovery research and will provide current and future pharmacy students more opportunities to assist in reshaping the future of health care and treatment.”

The additional space also will provide greater research opportunities for students enrolled in the College of Pharmacy's undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral programs. It’s anticipated the renovation and expansion will improve the capabilities and reputation of the college, already ranked in the top 10 of U.S. colleges of pharmacy.

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This story was originally published by UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA HEALTH SCIENCES