Innovative 50 Years Ago. Still Innovative Today

How often is it that a building is as influential when it turns 50 as it was when it first opened its doors? The building at 20 S. Dudley is a vital part of the Memphis bioscience community and it has been since it was completed 50 years ago.

In Fall 1958, 60 physicians started serving their patients at Baptist Hospital’s new Medical Building located at the corner of Monroe and Dudley (20 S. Dudley). This was an innovative and pivotal moment in the history of health care because it was the first medical building in the country attached to a hospital. The building contained 32 suites, a sundry shop, pharmacy, x-ray facilities and laboratory.

50 years ago a Medical Building attached to a hospital was the most innovative thing in medicine. Today, entrepreneurship, research and new business development are at the forefront of innovation. As the first building in the UT-Baptist Research Park, it is an integral part of the bioscience movement in Memphis. Located within its walls are a variety of bioscience start-up companies that will bring future investment and jobs to Memphis. As the research park grows, more bioscience start-ups and even large companies will need additional lab space for research. Not only will companies be able to find that space at the UT-Baptist Research Park, but at 20 S. Dudley as well.

Some of the most influential companies in Memphis bioscience also work within its walls – InMotion, the leading orthopedic research institute; LifeCyte, Inc. a contract biopharmaceutical service company; arGentis Pharmaceuticals, LLC is focused on the commercialization of technologies for autoimmune and ophthalmological diseases; Innova, a seed-fund designed to grow local entrepreneurial talent; and of course it is home to my office at the Memphis Bioworks® Foundation. The building contains individuals dedicated to inspiring the minds of the future leaders of our community. The Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering occupies three floors and is committed to producing innovative thinkers, effective communicators and talented future professionals that will be a significant asset to the growth of the Memphis bioscience community.

It is my belief that this building and the future completion of the UT-Baptist Research Park will help shape the economic future of Memphis as the community grows as an international center of bioscience excellence. The Dudley Building will be joined soon by the new UT Pharmacy School building and the Regional Biocontainment Laboratory within the research park, and yet this 50 year old building is still on the cutting edge of new bioscience discoveries that will develop into technologies and therapeutics that will impact healthcare in the future.

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