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Posted on Thu, Feb 18, 2010 : 11:06 a.m.

University of Michigan identifies first technology focus for ex-Pfizer site

By Nathan Bomey

The University of Michigan this morning unveiled a few scientific areas where it will place its emphasis at the 2-million-square-foot ex-Pfizer campus the university acquired for $108 million in 2009.

U-M Health System CEO and Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs Ora Pescovitz told colleagues in an e-mail and online that the university had "identified the first two technology anchors" at the site, which has been renamed North Campus Research Complex.

The research areas are "biointerfaces" -- which includes nanotechnology, sensors and drug delivery -- and a "cutting-edge collaboration in molecular, functional and structural imaging," Pescovitz wrote.

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University of Michigan Health System CEO and Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs Ora Pescovitz

Pescovitz also said the university would "develop the nation's premier institute for research in health care services, which is the study of effective ways to organize, manage, finance and deliver high-quality care."

That statement comes after U-M said in January that it would begin moving 300 employees from leased office space to the NCRC. Among the list of departments to make the move was the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research, which is leaving its space at Domino's Farms in Ann Arbor Township.

Meanwhile, it was not immediately clear whether the health care research focus would involve U-M's William Davidson Institute. The institute in December 2008 launched a focus on health care services research when ex-Pfizer site leader David Canter joined its staff.

University officials did not respond to requests seeking comment this morning.

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U-M acquired the 2-million-square-foot ex-Pfizer site for $108 million in 2009.

The university also expects to join together faculty researchers from a variety of areas to form "research clusters" at the ex-Pfizer site. This fits with previous statements from university executives, who have said they would seek to pursue new multidisciplinary research strategies at the site.

"These clusters will join our technology anchors as part of our revolutionary research model," Pescovitz said.

U-M expects to add between 2,000 and 3,000 jobs at the site over the next 10 years. The university acquired the campus in 2009, less than a year after Pfizer finished its exodus from the massive site.

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Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball

Fri, Feb 19, 2010 : 9:29 a.m.

Perhaps the U should consider bringing in some other Universities as well to combine the best of the best - a BIG TEN MEDICAL RESEARCH wing perhaps.

Nathan Bomey

Thu, Feb 18, 2010 : 2:54 p.m.

A quick update: David Canter responded to my e-mail and said he is "not involved" with the health care services focus at the NCRC.