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Baylor St. Lukes McNair Campus & Health Sciences Park


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"The O’Quinn Medical Tower on the McNair Medical Campus at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center is two months away from its opening date. The completed tower marks the realization of the health care system's long-planned expansion and continues a trend of growing medical campuses in the city of Houston.

The 12-story tower will be the home of the Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of only three National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in Texas. The cancer center will offer radiation therapy and other diagnostic and treatment services plus multiple specialized oncology clinics and an infusion center composed of 80 individual pods."

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Baylor College of Medicine launches construction of new Lillie and Roy Cullen Tower

Baylor College of Medicine has officially kicked off a new project in the Texas Medical Center area.

The college held a May 24 celebration to launch construction of the new Lillie and Roy Cullen Tower. The 11-story, 503,000-square-foot building, which is projected to open in 2026, will be home to Baylor’s School of Medicine and School of Health Professions.

Baylor College of Medicine has a $150 million philanthropic goal for the project. To date, the gifts for the new tower total $100 million. The Cullen Foundation, The Cullen Trust for Health Care and The Cullen Trust for Higher Education contributed a combined $30 million, which is one of the largest combined gifts in the philanthropies' history.

“The Cullen Trust for Health Care is very honored to support this building along with The Cullen Foundation and The Cullen Trust for Higher Education,” Cullen Geiselman Muse, chair of The Cullen Trust for Health Care, said in a statement. “We cannot wait to see what new beginnings will come from inside the Lillie and Roy Cullen Tower.”

In 1947, the Cullens' $800,000 gift helped complete construction of the original Roy and Lillie Cullen Building, which was named a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 2015.

The new Lillie and Roy Cullen Tower will include a 500-seat atrium; dedicated space for big data analytics; small-group classrooms; studio classrooms; a large-capacity, high-tech, theater-style event space; an anatomy lab, teaching labs and a 35,000-square-foot simulation center, which will help prepare students prior to clinicals; an education innovation center with a faculty development lab; a student wellness center; lecture halls; a rooftop garden; and an elevated courtyard.

The Slam Collaborative, an architecture firm with its primary office in Connecticut, designed the new tower. Robert Pulito, president emeritus, principal and architect at the firm, said the 11th floor will be used for Baylor leadership and will have a large terrace that can be used for instructional events.

The tower will also be used as a “collaborative space for Baylor trainees and scientists to engage in ideas and innovation that will help fuel a new era of medicine, including the one-of-a-kind Center for Space Medicine,” a media kit says. The Center for Space Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine was established in 2008 and acts as a hub for space medicine faculty and staff, Translational Research Institute for Space Health investigators, students, residents, fellows, visiting scholars and others to collaborate.

Paul Klotman, Baylor College of Medicine's president, CEO and executive dean, sees the new tower as the bow on the package for student recruitment and retention, he said during the May 24 event.

“To really change the future of health, we need a space that facilitates the future,” Klotman said in a statement. “We need to have a great building to recruit great talent. Having a place where our clinical programs are located, where our data scientists are, next to a biotech development center, and having our medical students all integrated into that environment will allow them to be ready in the future for where health care is going.”

Medical knowledge doubles every six months, but this building will adapt to the advancement of knowledge and new technologies, Pulito said.

The tower is a part of the first phase of Baylor’s larger Health Sciences Park. The HSP will consist of the Cullen Tower and a dedicated Research Tower, located next to patient care at Baylor Medicine and Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center on the McNair Campus.

The HSP will also be adjacent to TMC Helix Park, formerly known as TMC3, further creating opportunities for trainees and scientists to gain the ability to forge partnerships with surrounding institutions and industries, officials said.

“Now is a terrific time for Baylor,” David Baldwin, chair of the Baylor College Medicine Board of Trustees, said in a statement. “Our science has never been more critical to the world, and we really are splitting at the seams in terms of our facilities. If we don’t innovate the ways we teach, we do our students a disservice. We are excited to see how this new facility will usher in a new era of modern medical education and innovation."

Sofia Gonzalez
Reporter - Houston Business Journal
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