UB celebrates grand opening of Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

New downtown medical campus officially opens

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For Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Dean Michael Cain, the completion of the school’s new downtown location is “a dream come true.”

Cain was among several UB administrators who spoke at the grand opening ceremony for the new medical campus Tuesday morning. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and New York State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul also spoke at the ceremony and addressed a buzzing, excited crowd. Attendees filled every chair and standees spilled into the lobby. Onlookers could be seen looking down from every floor in the six-story atrium.

The opening of the $375 million facility comes after more than six years of planning and construction. The first phase of re-location started in November, and the building will be ready for the first day of classes on Jan. 8.

“Now that it’s built, over the next five to 10 years we can now concentrate on programs and adding new programs, fortifying programs and thinking of new programs that will benefit education, fundamental translational research or patient care,” Cain said.

He also emphasized the importance of the new building’s proximity to other medical facilities in the area.

“We have spectacular facilities that are strategically co-located and attached to one another,” Cain said.

These facilities include Oishei Children’s Hospital, Gates Vascular Institute and Buffalo General Medical Center in addition to the medical campus, according to Cain.

UB President Satish Tripathi highlighted the new building’s “state-of-the-art” simulation facilities.

“Students will learn how to operate, you can actually learn about and manipulate different parts of the body and see you would operate and how you can reconstruct things,” Tripathi said. “It’s really a twenty-first century facility where students and the faculty will have a great time learning.”

Hochul discussed the impact the new facility will have on the Buffalo community and economy. She believes the new campus will be a “catalyst for change” and that it will “put Buffalo on the map.”

“We can now attract the best and the brightest to become doctors,” Hochul said. “And hopefully they too will fall in love with Western New York and stay here and be part of the fabric of our community.”

Laura Reed, a second year medical student, said it has been exciting to watch the new school come into fruition as a student.

“It’s really interesting to be a student here right now because you get to see both sides. We’ve gone through UB South Campus for the past year and a half and it's pretty outdated,” Reed said. “So it’s nice because it makes it far more exciting knowing what we didn’t have there versus what we will have here.”

She is most excited about the new facilities she will have access to, including new anatomy labs, a surgical robotics center, a simulation center and clinical competency rooms because she believes they will “enhance” her learning experience.

Reed also feels the proximity to other medical facilities will be convenient as she prepares for her third year clinical rotations. She will only be a student at the new building for about six months before starting her rotations in the fall.

“It will be really nice to go across the street to the children’s hospital and then come back here as a hub,” she said.

Reed encourages students looking into medical school to consider UB.

“I think when you’re looking at medical schools a big thing is the facilities, what you will have access to and how it’s going to enhance your ability to become a better clinician,” she said. “And this is the newest medical school in the country, so for students looking at medical schools, there’s no reason not to come here. “

Maddy Fowler is the editorial editor and can be reached at maddy.fowler@ubspectrum.com