The initiatives of the Chemistry of Life Processes Institute require the most advanced physical environment including revolutionary technologies and leading scientists. The Institute, operating from The Richard and Barbara Silverman Hall for Molecular Therapeutics and Diagnostics, enables researchers to expand their studies and explore many unprecedented areas of science and medicine.
The construction of Silverman Hall was a significant departure for the University as it is the first building ever built for an institute, rather than for a school or department. The Director and key Institute faculty took a lead role in designing and allocating space within the 147,000 gross square foot building, thereby ensuring the alignment of this research space with the mission of the Institute.
Silverman Hall is designed to enhance interactions and collaborations among colleagues. The building houses 16 research groups and about 245 faculty, staff and research assistants in chemistry, biology and engineering. There are a variety of meeting rooms and gathering places, including two two-story interaction spaces, to encourage both spontaneous and planned interactions among research groups and across disciplines. Each of the five floors has state-of-the-art research laboratories. The ground floor features the Center for Advanced Molecular Imagery (CAMI) that researchers from both campuses use to image molecules, chemical reactions and magnetic resonance contrast agents. The building also houses the Proteomics Center of Excellence, the Center for Molecular Innovation and Drug Discovery, NIFTI and computational bioinformatics. Silverman Hall is connected to Pancoe-ENH and Ryan Hall via pedestrian bridges, extending the reach of the above-ground walkways that link Northwestern's science facilities.
In accordance with Northwestern's policy of using environmentally sustainable design for its new buildings, Silverman Hall has been designed as a green building. A large underground cistern, chilled beams, a reflective roof, an automatic lighting system and the use of recycled and regional materials all contributed to the building receiving gold-level certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System®.
The construction of this $100 million building was funded in part through the generosity of Richard Silverman who has donated a portion of the royalties obtained from sales of the blockbuster drug for Lyrica, which he developed as an innovative therapy for neuropathic diseases.