New Kilachand Center
Key research will be fueled by collaboration
With a powerful boost from the largest gift in its history, Boston University on Thursday officially opened the Rajen Kilachand Center for Integrated Life Sciences & Engineering, a state-of-the-art research facility that brings together life scientists, engineers, and physicians from the Medical Campus and Charles River Campus and promises to speed life-changing developments in the fields of human health, environment, and energy.
The nine-story, 170,000-square-foot building at 610 Commonwealth Avenue represents an investment of a quarter of a billion dollars—a $135 million construction commitment from BU and a $115 million gift from Rajen Kilachand (Questrom’74, Hon.’14). The BU trustee designated $15 million to support construction of the center and $100 million for an endowment to support research at the intersection of engineering and the life sciences. Kilachand, the University’s most generous donor, pledged $25 million in 2011 to establish Kilachand Honors College and $10 million in 2012 for renovations to Kilachand Hall, at 91 Bay State Road.
University President Robert A. Brown says Kilachand’s latest contribution will fund research that could change the future of health care. “Rajen Kilachand’s gift establishes an endowment that will support research in perpetuity,” says Brown. “It will support hundreds of scientists, researchers, and graduate students working on research that will affect the human condition through research as varied as direct applications to human health, sustainable methods for producing organic materials, food security, and understanding the impact of climate change on all life. The Kilachand Center and the Research Fund will influence all the ways that life sciences and engineering come together to affect our future.”
Kilachand says he believes the new center’s combination of researchers from medicine, engineering, and neuroscience will be the model for future life sciences research, in both academia and industry. “I’m very excited about that collaboration,” he says. “I’m convinced that this research center is going to be the front-runner. I believe from the bottom of my heart that this will become one of the leading research institutes on the planet.”