SALT LAKE CITY – Officials with the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah announced Friday they plan to expand their research capabilities by adding a large addition to the facility.
According to a press release from the Huntsman Cancer Institute, the 220,000-square-foot addition is projected to cost about $100 million.
The announcement comes at a time when the prevalence of cancers in all age groups is increasing while donations to cancer research decline, according to the press release.
Jon M. Huntsman Sr., who is the founder of HCI and its principal benefactor, said the expansion will allow them to help more people.
“From an empty hillside to one of the world’s leading cancer research and treatment facilities, our vision has always been to improve cancer outcomes for children and adults through innovative research,” he said in the press release. “To fulfill that dream, our world-class researchers need more space and equipment. Huntsman Cancer Institute’s research labs are at full capacity, yet patients all over the world are looking to us for new treatments to save their lives. This new addition will double our research space.”
David W. Pershing, University of Utah president, said the new facility was a tremendous act of generosity.
“What a remarkable and far-reaching act of enlightened philanthropy Jon M. Huntsman has given to the people of Utah, indeed to our nation and world,” he said in the press release. “Through his leadership, personal gifts, and ability to engage others in supporting this important cause, Jon has for more than 20 years brought to life his vision for exceptional cancer research and care.”
The new facility will house laboratories and technology to allow researchers to study more aspects of cancer that impact families, including the three leading causes of death in children: leukemia, sarcoma, and brain cancer, according to the press release.
Programming and design for the new six-floor expansion is already underway, and construction is expected to begin in 2014. The expansion will extend from the southeast corner of the research arm of the original building, located on the University of Utah campus. This marks HCI’s fourth construction phase.