The Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes (TRI), a collaboration between Sanford-Burnham and Florida Hospital, is one step closer to opening its research facility. The 54,000 square-foot building recently reached its final height, and a special ceremony was held during which researchers gathered to sign one of the interior columns. Construction to enclose the building will now begin. The TRI, which studies diabetes, obesity and the metabolic origins of cardiovascular disease, will help bridge the gap between the scientist’s laboratory and the patient’s bedside. The TRI will unite scientists, clinicians and advanced technologies to spur translational research and rapidly create new, more effective treatments.
“We are witnessing an epidemic of obesity and diabetes in the United States,” said Dr. Steven R. Smith, scientific director of the TRI. “The main goal of the TRI is to generate new knowledge to improve lives through innovative research. By ‘topping out’ the TRI, we are one step closer towards developing Orlando as a medical destination.”
The three-story facility will house clinic space, testing rooms, a 3T MRI scanner, a DEXA scan, calorimetry chambers and a biorepository. These and other technologies will help researchers determine why specific diabetes or obesity treatments may work for some patients but not others. The TRI, which broke ground in early 2011, is expected to open in early 2012.
“The TRI provides a virtual bridge between Florida Hospital’s Orlando campus and Medical City at Lake Nona,” said Dr. Daniel Kelly, scientific director at Sanford-Burnham’s Lake Nona facility. “Information will speed back and forth on the bridge, to accelerate discoveries leading to new treatments. The cutting-edge research done at the TRI will play a pivotal role in the war on obesity and diabetes.”
The topping off ceremony was highlighted in the Orlando Business Journal.
To learn more about the new TRI facility, read A Different Kind of Dorm Room.