November 25, 1998
Vol. 18 No. 5

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    New biopsych building to house interdisciplinary research labs

    By William Harms
    News Office

    Chicago researchers doing some of the nation’s most advanced work on the relationship between behavior and the neural and endocrine systems will have a new home at the University with the dedication of a new five-story, $15 million facility.

    At the Nov. 9 dedication of the Biopsychological Sciences Building, President Sonnenschein addressed about 100 faculty members and administrators from the Social Sciences and Biological Sciences divisions, architects from Holabird & Root and representatives of Graycor Construction Company.

    “As we celebrate the dedication of this superb new facility, we also are celebrating our University’s commitment to research that transcends disciplines,” said Sonnenschein. The facility will replace the W.C. Allee Laboratories.

    In his remarks, Sonnenschein reflected on “the Chicago-sized questions that will drive the research here: How does the brain regulate our thoughts, our memories and our emotions? How are we to understand the biological basis of complex behavior such as sociability, sexuality and aggression?” He noted that the Biopsychological Sciences Building will play an important role in an “exciting time for interdisciplinary research at the University.”

    Sonnenschein and others at the ceremony praised Martha McClintock, Professor in Psychology, for her research, which has established a foundation for the interdisciplinary work that will take place in the facility. McClintock has performed path-breaking research in the relationship between behavior and the functioning of the neural and endocrine systems.

    Richard Saller, the Edward L. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor in History and Dean of the Division of Social Sciences, said the building was supported in part by a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation in recognition of McClintock’s plan of research.

    “This building will provide an important place for critical research on the mind and body’s interaction,” Saller said.

    “It’s exciting for me to see this building take its final shape after watching it being built and working with so many highly qualified people on its construction,” said McClintock. “We have made sure that this building will be a first-rate instrument for research. Its laboratory facilities are excellent, and the labs and conference areas are arranged in a way that promotes collegiality, something critical to the success of our research.”

    The building has room for eight researchers’ laboratories and offices as well as several communal labs, equipment rooms and a multipurpose seminar room. The building has a total area of about 50,000 square feet, which includes 26,600 square feet for labs, offices and other facilities.

    Faculty who will use the facility for research will focus on the study of behavior and psychological processes and their interaction with neural and endocrine functions. The research includes such areas as behavioral endocrinology and neurosciences, immunobiology, and human neurophysicology and endocrinology.