In early April, the Department of Microbiology & Immunology began the final phase of moving out of its 36-year home in the Mary Ellen Jones Building. The migration began last year with departmental labs moving to the 9th floor of the completely renovated Burnett Womack Building. The rest of the Department’s space will be located in Marsico Hall (formerly known as the Imaging Research Building), which will be dedicated by Chancellor Carol Folt in a March 27th ribbon-cutting ceremony honoring philanthropist Thomas Marsico.
A few days after the dedication of this $243 million state-of-the-art building, our Department will begin its move to occupy 25,000 square feet on the 6th floor. Marsico Hall will also be home to labs from a variety of UNC Centers, including the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Cystic Fibrosis Center, the Carolina Institute for NanoMedicine, and the Biomedical Research Imaging Center.
There’s a lot of departmental history in Mary Ellen Jones, but she has not aged well – nearly every building system has exceeded its expected useful life and needs to be replaced. She was designed for a different era of biomedical science when the equipment was bigger and the lab spaces were smaller. Fortunately, Mary Ellen Jones is slated for a major renovation and even a facelift that will transform her into a contemporary style that echoes the glassy look of Marsico Hall. We wish her well, but as Elton John would say, “You know you can’t hold me forever.”