Classified as a research university with "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, NSU is 1 of only 50 universities nationwide to also be awarded Carnegie's Community Engagement Classification.
Dedicated to Eradicating Cancer
As part of the ceremony, which was held in September of 2016, NSU announced a gift from AutoNation to name NSU's AutoNation Institute for Breast and Solid Tumor Cancer Research, located within the CCR. The Institute is focused on developing and advancing improved methods of prevention and treatment to ultimately eradicate cancer. The gift to name NSU's AutoNation Institute brings the company's cumulative giving to NSU to more than $10 million.
AutoNation is America's largest automotive retailer, currently owning and operating over 360 new vehicle franchises from coast to coast. AutoNation sold its 10 millionth vehicle in 2015, the first automotive retailer to reach this milestone. A commitment to delivering a peerless experience through customer-focused sales and service processes is what drives AutoNation's success. AutoNation supports the Breast Cancer Research Foundation through its Drive Pink Campaign. AutoNation is transforming the automotive industry through bold leadership, technology and innovation. "We are extremely privileged to have the world-class AutoNation Institute right here in our backyard," said Mike Jackson, chairman, CEO and president of Fort Lauderdale-based AutoNation, the country's largest automotive retailer. "We've made a commitment to direct our charitable resources to help drive out cancer and initiatives like 'Drive Pink' have resonated profoundly with our customers and associates from coast to coast. It's through innovative research facilities like the AutoNation Institute that our greatest progress is sure to be made."
Located adjacent to the university's Health Professions Division complex on NSU's Fort Lauderdale/Davie Campus, the 215,000-sq.- ft., six-story CCR is equipped with wet and dry labs; state-of-the-art research equipment, including access to a high-performance computing environment; and other resources, such as Florida LambdaRail, a high-speed broadband service delivery network with connectivity throughout the nation. The CCR building has been submitted to the United States Green Building Council for review with the intent of receiving Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification. The CCR took two years to complete and reflects an investment of nearly $100 million in Broward County.
Researchers, Students, and Industry Come Together
"NSU is a knowledge-based industry with a $3.2 billion economic impact in the state of Florida," said NSU President Dr. George Hanbury. "The CCR is purposely designed for researchers, students and industry to come together, pool resources and develop effective and innovative solutions in health care, bioinformatics, technology, cybersecurity and business. This is a key part of achieving a larger vision to further integrate higher education research, business and health care for the benefit of the residents of Broward County, South Florida and beyond."
In May 2016, HCA East Florida received state approval to build a hospital on NSU's campus. Design of the hospital is underway. Once completed, the new hospital will be within walking distance from the CCR and NSU's Health Professions Division complex, providing opportunities to even further integrate research and clinical trials. "With access to HCA's vast resources for clinical trials and opportunities to partner with private ventures, our university is poised to become a national and international hub for startups and established technology companies, resulting in high paying jobs and innovative discoveries," said H. Thomas Temple, M.D., NSU's senior vice president for translational research and economic development.
Addressing Key Issues Facing Humanity
In order to efficiently address key issues facing humanity, NSU has established several research institutes and centers using a multidisciplinary, inter-professional approach. The CCR is the hub for this research, conducted at locations throughout the university and its regional campuses. The established institutes include the following centers: NSU's AutoNation Institute for Breast and Solid Tumor Cancer Research, NSU Cell Therapy Institute (a partnership with researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden), NSU's Institute for Natural and Ocean Sciences Research, NSU's Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine, NSU's Rumbaugh-Goodwin Institute for Cancer Research, and the Emil Buehler Research Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at NSU. In addition, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) occupies the entire first floor of the CCR. The USGS and NSU partner on research involving greater Everglades restoration efforts, hydrology and water resources, and more.
Benefits to All Occupants
All occupants of the CCR benefit from its core facilities including a Genomics Core Facility for sequencing human genes associated with disease, a Flow Cytometry Core Facility for isolating special cell types such as immune and stem cells, a Cell Therapy Core Facility for developing immunotherapies and regenerative medicines, and an Imaging Core Facility with advanced digital microscopy capabilities More than 200 research projects are currently underway at NSU, including studies on cardiovascular disease, anti-cancer therapies, chronic fatigue syndrome, autism, coral reef restoration, stem cells, disorders that cause blindness, wildlife DNA forensics, and more. NSU's research programs are funded by the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Defense, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, and other prestigious organizations and private supporters.
NSU is actively ramping up its fundraising for research with the goal of raising $300 million in sponsored research, service, and training projects by the end of 2020. The university is also in the public phase of the largest philanthropic campaign in its history, Realizing Potential, which aims to raise $250 million for student, faculty and 21st century education initiatives, with research integral to all three priorities. The CCR was constructed by ANF Group and designed by ACAI Associates, both of which are headquartered in Broward County.
M.B.A., APR, is an associate director of public affairs for Nova Southeastern University. His duties include providing public relations and marketing support for the Health Professions Division, Office of Research and Technology Transfer and biotech areas.