Huntsman Cancer Institute, part of the University of Utah Health Sciences system, has begun construction of the new Primary Children’s and Families’ Cancer Research Center.

The new 220,000ft² cancer research building, which will double Huntsman Cancer Institute’s research space, is expected to be completed in 2016.

Architectural Nexus has been contracted as architect, while Jacobsen Construction will serve as the builder for the $105m expansion.

The Jon M. Huntsman family, Huntsman Cancer Foundation, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Intermountain Healthcare and the state of Utah will provide principal support for the expansion.

According to Huntsman Cancer Institute, the research enhancements will include a Biotechnology Center, with the latest advanced genetic sequencing and imaging equipment. The addition’s projected laboratories will bring the actual linear footage of research bench space to almost a mile.

Huntsman Cancer Institute CEO and director Dr Mary Beckerle said that the institute will accelerate cancer research discovery to reduce the burden of cancer.

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"Just down the hall from our cancer hospital, teams of top scientists will be tackling the most pressing medical challenge of our time."

"Just down the hall from our cancer hospital, teams of top scientists will be tackling the most pressing medical challenge of our time," Dr Beckerle added.

"The Huntsmans and our other generous supporters have given all of us a tremendous gift, and it is now up to us to capitalise on this unique opportunity."

The addition will extend from the south-east corner of the research arm of the original building and marks the institute’s fourth major construction phase.

Located on the campus of the University of Utah, Huntsman Cancer Institute treats patients with all forms of cancer, and operates several high-risk clinics that focus on melanoma and breast, colon and pancreas cancers.

Image: Huntsman Cancer Institute has broken ground on its new cancer research building. Photo courtesy of Business Wire.