As reported by The Hartford Courant, February 9, 2007.

UConn to Buy Farmington Building for Stem Cell Work

FARMINGTON, Conn. -- The University of Connecticut will buy and renovate a commercial building near the UConn Health Center for stem cell research, school officials said Friday.

The board of trustees authorized the purchase of the former 113,000-square-foot FarmTech building. Renovations are expected to cost about $35 million. The university was awarded nearly $12 million in state funds in November in the first round of funding under a new state law that set aside $100 million for embryonic and adult stem cell research.

The building, set on 24 acres, also will include cell biology and genetics research in what the school is calling its Center of Innovation.

"Our goal is to maximize the state's investment in stem cell research and establish an internationally recognized program focused on human embryonic stem cells and regenerative medicine," said Dr. Mark Lalande, professor and chairman of the school's genetics and developmental biology department.

The renovations will not be financed by federal funds to comply with laws that block federal funds to any scientist working with human embryonic stem cell lines created after August 2001, Lalande said.

The new UConn institute will broaden its work beyond stem cells, Lalande said.

"We're thinking about the intersection of biology, engineering and computer science and lots of disciplines that inform those areas," he said.

The new center is expected to open in 2009.