OHSU's Druker gives a first look at the Knight Cancer Research Building (Photos)

OHSU's Druker gives a first look at the Knight Cancer Research Building (Photos)

The building in which Dr. Brian Druker hopes cancer will be cured is about five months from completion.

Druker, who directs the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, donned a hard hat on Monday to help show a small group of reporters through the Knight Cancer Research Building, situated on Portland’s South Waterfront.

“I’m excited about where the project is and what’s going to be in the building,” Druker said.

The $190 million research building was made possible by the $1 billion Knight Cancer Challenge, in which Nike co-founder Phil Knight put in $500 million in matching funds if Oregon Health & Science University raised an equal sum. Funding for the new building came from a $200 million state bond measure.

The building is geared top to bottom to fostering collaboration between interdisciplinary research teams. It features common spaces throughout designed to promote face-to-face encounters among colleagues and open floor plans without tall cubicles. Scientists contributed ideas to the building design.

Lab spaces have large windows, allowing for natural light — a rarity in scientific laboratories. They'll have shared equipment and staff, promoting a non-territorial feel. The ground floor will include some retail space, a donor wall, public art and exercise research lab.

The new building will accommodate about 600 researchers and 650 total staff members, possibly half of whom will be new hires.

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