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New $58.5 million veterinary medicine research facility opens

By Pat Bailey on March 15, 2013 in Human & Animal Health

The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine today celebrated the public opening of a new four-story, $58.5 million research building, dedicated to making discoveries in basic science as well as human, animal and environmental health.

The new building will house part of the vet school’s $63.7 million research enterprise, which is the largest in the nation among veterinary colleges.

“Research discoveries begin with an idea, as did the planning for this facility,” said Michael Lairmore, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine, during the opening ceremonies, which drew more than 200 guests and members of the campus community.

Lairmore noted that the concept of developing a unified veterinary medical campus at UC Davis was first conceived in the 1960s and resolutely carried forward to fruition by four consecutive veterinary school deans.

“I am humbled by the vision of my predecessors and so very grateful that they built a facilities foundation and future for us,” Lairmore said. “Their collective efforts over more than four decades are also indicative of the ongoing discoveries associated with improving animal, human and environmental health, which take time and many, many partners and participants.”

The new Veterinary Medicine Research Facility 3B provides modern biomedical research space for 40 teams that are engaged in a broad spectrum of research related to animal, human and environmental health. Their studies focus on a variety of topics including diseases that affect animals and humans, autism, nutrition, reproduction, respiratory disease, neurobiology, food safety, toxicology and aquatic toxicology. The building also is home to the ambitious 100K Genome Project, which aims to sequence the genomes of 100,000 infectious microorganisms and speed diagnosis of foodborne illnesses.

In all, the new building provides 76,000 square feet of assignable space and is located northeast of the school’s Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. The building replaces antiquated facilities at various campus locations and is UC Davis’ newest research hub.

Also speaking during today’s ceremonies were UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi; state Sen. Lois Wolk; state Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada; and Andrea Fascetti, the veterinary school’s executive chair of the faculty.

Public tours of the building, including demonstrations by the various research departments, followed the ceremonies.

About the facility

The new facility will house more than 400 faculty, staff and students, bringing them into close proximity with other members of the veterinary school in UC Davis’ Health Sciences District. It provides replacement space for laboratories and offices previously located in Haring Hall, Surge II and the Wildlife Health Center. 

Veterinary Medicine 3B features an open laboratory concept to promote collaborations and optimal use of equipment between research teams. It also houses offices, conference rooms and administrative space.

The building was constructed with a combination of private, state and university funds and designed to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Gold certification for environmental standards. Sustainable building features include large windows to maximize natural light; automatic sunshades and vertical fins to block late afternoon summer sun from entering work spaces; energy-efficient heating and cooling based on a filtered-water system; centralized research freezers; and use of light-colored interior building materials to reflect light and minimize energy use.

The total construction costs of $58.5 million were paid with $45.3 million in state funds, $7.7 million in private funds from donors and foundations, and $5.5 million in university funds.

An online press kit, including images of the building and background on research programs to be housed in the facility, is available at

The veterinary school is planning a second building phase to modernize and dramatically increase the capacity of its veterinary clinical services. A new student services and administrative building will also be built to better serve students and replace a 60-year-old temporary structure on the UC Davis core campus.

About the School of Veterinary Medicine

The School of Veterinary Medicine serves the people of California by providing educational, research, clinical service and public service programs of the highest quality to advance the health of animals, people and the environment, and to contribute to the economy. Further information is available at

Media contact(s)

Pat Bailey, Research news (emphasis: agricultural and nutritional sciences, and veterinary medicine), 530-219-9640,

Trina Wood, School of Veterinary Medicine, 530-752-5257,