When NC State faculty and administrators first looked at throwing their hats into the genomics research ring several years ago, the most serious potential stopper was the need for major investment in new buildings, laboratories and equipment. While that concern is always present in a growing research enterprise, today’s view across the NC State genomics landscape shows what can happen when NC State’s chancellor and deans unanimously decide to turn a faculty vision into a priority.

More than $130 million has been committed to facilities and equipment for genomics research and teaching at NC State between 1999 and 2004. These investments have been made possible by State appropriations, university borrowing, grant overhead and, most importantly, the University Improvement Bonds package passed by voters in 2000. This has provided the leverage needed to attract government and other external support for an impressive range of world-class genomic research and teaching facilities. Significant grant overhead receipts have been focused on equipment as well.

“A big advantage in this effort,” says Dr. Bob Kelly, associate vice chancellor for research and director of NC State’s Biotechnology Program, “is the fact that we have available land and new buildings on the Centennial Campus (NC State’s science and technology research park), along with the ability to borrow funds for additional, grant-supported buildings. It saves time in getting new facilities on line and therefore makes NC State more competitive in attracting top faculty, students and research funding.”

Also key is the deans’ and faculty’s strategic determination to share biotechnology and genomic sciences centers and support facilities across college, department and program lines. This has not only helped to avoid unnecessary duplication of costly facilities and equipment, but also allowed for purchase of some of the best equipment available.

Click here to view a list of the shared resources available to genomic sciences faculty throughout the university as of this writing.