University of Mississippi Medical Center
Translational Research Center
The Translational Research Center, set to open in late July 2017 on the University of Mississippi health sciences campus, will feature wet and dry neuroscience labs and a variety of components that will be utilized by the Center for Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, among others. But the six-story, 106,000-square-foot building is destined to be known as the home of the MIND (Memory Impairment and Neurodegenerative Dementia) Center. Billed as "one of the nation's leaders in the search to crack the code of Alzheimer’s disease," the MIND Center will inhabit the building's first floor, combining spaces intended to broadcast the program's successes in research, as well as attracting grant money and donors, with clinical space.
Because Flad designed the MIND Center for use by cognitively impaired subjects, special attention was given to size, scale and materials that aid in wayfinding and help stimulate the brain — bold colors, bright spaces, curved forms and lively graphics. At the same time, the building is meant to mimic the experience of going to a professional practice clinic, with an approach that is both pedestrian- and vehicle-friendly and an interior that features ample glass, upscale finishes and comfortable furniture. Corridors on the clinical side are intended to help with the testing procedures of subjects, while those on the administrative side serve as a showcase for the center's cutting-edge research and programs.
The upper floors have been designed to be transparent and flexible, accommodating research labs for faculty and medical students, as well as seminar rooms, classrooms, and indoor and outdoor gathering areas. The plan is modular and adaptable for flexible space assignment as the research program grows.
The first floor main entrance leads to both clinical space and executive offices for the MIND Center, so the architecture communicates the intent of the science and research, and also supports this idea about broadcasting the groundbreaking work that the center is doing. Space has been devoted to interactive displays that will connect the research taking place throughout the building with the clinical findings reached through the testing of subjects with cognitive issues. In its plan and organization and even in its detailing, the Translational Research Center links research to outcomes.