The Assembly officially opens for Pitt health care research


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From left, Tim Sanders, John Grady, Chancellor Patrick Gallagher, Thomas Osha, Rich Fitzgerald, Deb Gross and Anantha Shekhar participate in ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday to celebrate the opening of The Assembly.

By Allison Radziwon, Assistant News Editor

The opening of The Assembly is a “new milestone” for Pitt and UPMC, according to Anantha Shekhar, senior vice chancellor for health sciences. The Assembly is where Pitt researchers will work to advance the healthcare industry in cancer biology and immunology. 

“We are excited to see this new facility come to life as a space for bold, innovative biomedical research, education and training,” Shekhar said. “It represents another milestone in the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC’s commitment to advance new treatments and cures while contributing significantly to the region’s expanding biotech sector.”

Pitt and Wexford Science & Technology, LLC, a development company that partners with universities and academic medical centers to build communities based on research, held a ribbon cutting ceremony and reception on Thursday to mark the official opening of The Assembly. The building was formerly the Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant, which originally assembled and showcased the Ford Model T. The project cost $330 million and leases 245,000 square feet of the space, leaving 110,000 square feet available for other tenants. 

James Berens, chairman and president of Wexford Science & Technology, said this partnership between the agency and Pitt “brought new life” to the assembly plant.

“Much like Ford’s vision for an all-in-one building for assembly cars, The Assembly merges the University, corporates, startups, the city, and its citizens into an environment that is unique in character and integrated into the fabric of the community and regional innovation ecosystem,” Berens said. “We believe the elements that are in place will create a new level of research, collaboration, and discovery that can move scientific breakthroughs from the laboratory to the marketplace.”

Chancellor Patrick Gallagher thanked those who helped Pitt create this space.

“To our many partners who helped us reach today, thank you. The Assembly is more than a facility. It is a confluence of Pittsburgh’s storied past, relentless evolution, and astonishingly bright future,” Gallagher said. “And I am excited to watch this space fill with world-renowned talent from the University of Pittsburgh who will make quick work of pushing medicine’s frontiers forward for society’s gain.”