2,000: Number of employees now at University of Michigan NCRC
The University of Michigan is celebrating the addition of the 2,000th employee to move into its North Campus Research Complex .
The milestone at the ex-Pfizer site in Ann Arbor is being reached with the arrival of a new team of three Harvard University scientists, officials announced Tuesday.
U-M recruited the team led by Zhong Wang, a researcher who specializes in stem cells and epigenetics, with a specialization in heart cells. Wang will be joining the U-M Medical School’s Department of Cardiac Surgery from his former post at Harvard University, and will be bringing two post-doctorate research fellows with him.
Joseph Tobianski I AnnArbor.com file photo
Once vacant after the loss of Pfizer, the facility is now a vibrant space with a communal feel, officials say.
The NCRC has had a period of continuous growth, as U-M reported a workforce of 1,700 at the NCRC site in November, up from the 1,423 workers reported in July and the 1,120 workers reported exactly a year ago.
“How fortuitous and fortunate that the 2000th person to move to the NCRC is a faculty recruit from another great institution,” said David Canter, NCRC executive director, in a statement. “Mixing together biologists and engineers, university research and commercial companies, and established faculty and new blood is the very essence of the NCRC’s mission.”
About 590,000 square feet of the site’s 975,000 net assignable square feet of lab and office space at NCRC have been committed to use. The site has a total of 2 million square feet of space in 28 buildings on the 174-acre property at the corner of Plymouth Road and North Huron Parkway in Ann Arbor.
The University of Michigan purchased the former Pfizer research complex from the company for $108 million in June 2009. The first office staff moved in to the building in March 2010, and 300 direct jobs have been added in the past three years.
Exercise facilities, a cafeteria, art exhibits, conference space and a child care center are now a part of the NCRC, and more and more top U-M leaders are moving their offices to the campus. Gaining office space at NCRC is now said to be a highly competitive process.
Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, CEO of the University of Michigan Health System, recently moved her office from the main health system campus to the NCRC.
“Through this expansion, we’ve been able to make important strides in expanding and aligning our research strengths, and our support for research, while also creating new jobs and fostering the growth of emerging companies, all while making the best use of resources,” Pescovitz said in a statement.
New staff recruited to U-M from other research universities to head the U-M Department of Emergency Medicine, the General Surgery section of the U-M Department of Surgery and U-M’s Center for Arrythmia Research have all chosen to move their labs to the NCRC.
Medical School faculty and staff comprise 75 percent of the 2,000 people at NCRC, though a number of private organizations make use of the space and the Venture Accelerator.
In February, researchers from the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System’s Center for Clinical Management Research moved to a 24,600-square-foot space in NCRC’s Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.
U-M announced the institute would be moving its 400 researchers to NCRC last summer at the three-year anniversary of the complex. A Harvard University doctor, Dr. John Ayanian, was recruited by U-M last fall to serve as the institute’s first director.