Seattle Children's Hospital has opened a new 540,000-square-foot facility in downtown Seattle as it expands research into possible cures for childhood diseases.
The building will house research scientists and pediatricians working on a range of therapies. Dr. Jeff Sperring, chief executive of Seattle Children's, said the hospital right now employs about 2,000 people in its research institute and the hope is to add about 1,000 more over the next five to seven years.
The researchers are working on better ways to treat pediatric cancers and other diseases, including lupus, diabetes, epilepsy and autism, Sperring said.
“We built it not only for what we can do today but lots of room for expansion so we can continue to recruit world-class scientists here,” he said.
The $300 million facility, called Building Cure, also includes a science discovery lab for students from eighth through 12th grades. Teachers will be able to apply to bring their classes to do hands-on science experiments linked to the hospital's research.
Teachers will be able to choose from curriculum modules that link to the hospital's research, said Dr. Amanda Jones, senior director for education initiatives at Seattle Children’s.
“The modules cover immunotherapy, gene editing, infectious diseases,” she said. “The students do protein assays. They isolate white cells from blood to understand how we get the cells we need to do immunotherapy. So it’s all connected to the research that takes place in this building.”