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Phoenix Biomedical Campus: Hub of Innovation and Collaboration

February 6, 2014 by Brandi Porter

HSEB NW corner

The Phoenix Biomedical Campus represented a major investment in the biosciences and health industry for the City of Phoenix.

Spanning across 28 acres of city-owned land in Downtown Phoenix, the PBC is home to an assortment of medical- and bioscience-related entities all of which are working together, creating a hub of innovative and collaborative energy in the Urban Core.

Among a few of the current PBC tenants are the University of Arizona; Northern Arizona University; Arizona State University; Bioscience High School; TGen, a non-profit working to develop innovative treatments for cancer, diabetes and more; and by 2015, the University of Arizona Cancer Center.

But how does the presence of these institutions really benefit Downtown? It starts with increasing the number of high paying, quality jobs and the number of people studying, living and playing in the Urban Core.

To help expand my knowledge of the campus, I took a tour of the Health Sciences Education building—the big pretty copper one off of Seventh Street—with Al Bravo, associate director of public affairs with the University of Arizona. During our time together, he described the campus to me, both present and future, and the impact it has on Downtown Phoenix.

Back in 2004, the Arizona Board of Regents agreed to expand UA College of Medicine’s four-year doctorate program into Phoenix. In 2012, NAU would join the PBC and ASU in 2013, bringing together an array of public and private entities to one place and establishing connections between students, faculty members and researchers.

Bravo said that UA College of Medicine students get hands-on experience in the simulation labs, putting what they learn in the classroom into practice using lifelike mannequins, which you can read about here in the Downtown Devil.

When NAU joined UA on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus in 2012, it expanded their College of Health and Human Services offering physician assistant, physical therapy and occupational therapy programs in Downtown. Just a few steps away, you’ll find Arizona State University students enrolled in the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion doing research in the Arizona Biomedical Collaborative building.

Besides economic development, the PBC was intended to help offset shortages of health care professionals in Arizona. Admitting its first class of students in 2007, the University of Arizona has graduated three classes so far, for a total of 114 students. NAU welcomed its first class of students in 2012 and will graduate its first group of students this year.

Take a walk around PBC campus and you’ll notice a mix of historic Phoenix Union High School buildings and new, state-of-the-art facilities. You’ll also notice several empty lots, many of which are slated for development, further expanding the campus. The City of Phoenix’s conceptual plans include the addition of several more research, education and clinical buildings. However, each mock-up makes it explicit that these plans are not finalized.

The most up-to-date information on the PBC includes the addition of the UA Cancer Center on the northwest corner of Seventh and Fillmore streets; the Phoenix Biomedical Research Center abutting Fifth Street (between the TGen and ABC 1 buildings); and a parking garage on the southeast corner of Fifth and Fillmore streets.

Want to better understand the layout? Take a look at this map of PBC featuring existing and planned structures:

Photo provided by UA College of Medicine – Phoenix


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