Construction funds for the new West Virginia University (WVU) Biomedical Science Center are on the way to Morgantown, U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., announced Thursday.

“This is wonderful news. WVU is fast becoming a national leader in health research and medical care. The new biomedical buildingand the research and the medical services of its doctors, nurses, and staffwill help to save countless lives. The work to be carried out at this new facility will open doors to new treatments and medicines, helping people in West Virginia and around the world to live healthier lives,”Byrd said.

“We are deeply grateful for Senator Byrds leadership in helping WVU to secure funding that will help WVU to build facilities that will be among the most advanced at any health sciences center or research institute in the country,”said David C. Hardesty, Jr., WVU President.”The funding will help advance our plan to develop strong research capabilities in a number of focused areas of health and biosciences, including neurosciences, cancer, and heart disease.”

Byrd added $20 million to legislation last fall for construction of the state-of-the-art research center. Those funds have just been released by the Department of Health and Human Services. The $20 million that Byrd added will pay for the full cost of construction of the new center.

“Once again, Senator Byrd has provided WVU with funds that will improve the health and well being of all West Virginians. The construction of our new Biomedical Science Center will have a tremendous impact on health care as well as our economy,”explained Robert M. DAlessandri, M.D., WVU Vice President for Health Sciences.”The new facility will house as many as 200 researchers and add up to 600 jobs. This is the equivalent of a major business moving to West Virginia. WVU scientists are committed to discovering new treatments and cures for the most prevalent illnesses affecting West Virginians including stroke, heart disease, cancer and diabetes.”

“Medical science is on the march. Each day, doctors and researchers make amazing progress toward cures and treatments for diseases that have threatened lives for generations. WVU has proved an important resource for people suffering from cancer, Alzheimers disease, and so many other debilitating and potentially fatal illnesses. The new WVU Biomedical Science Center will cement the universitys position at the forefront of cutting-edge medical institutions,”Byrd said.

“The construction of our new, state-of-the-art Biomedical Science Center is an integral part of our strategic research plan,”explained John E. Prescott, M.D., Dean of the WVU School of Medicine.”The funds secured by Senator Byrd will enable us to move our plan forward with great speed. The center will support the research efforts of existing faculty, and will help us recruit additional outstanding basic and clinical investigators.”

The facility will be designed and equipped to foster interdisciplinary biomedical research in areas of special concern to West Virginians, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and other serious illnesses.