Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center Breaks Ground

(May 31, 2013) - In a ceremony that included dignitaries, donors, and guests, ground was broken May 21, 2013, on the new Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). HDR was direct-selected to design the $323-million cancer research and treatment center following the success of the HDR-designed Durham Research Centers I & II, and the Michael F. Sorrell Center for Health Science Education (CHSE) on the same campus. The new facility will join the Research Centers as part of the Durham Research Plaza.

The Buffett Cancer Center will combine both cancer treatment and research to provide the highest level of cancer care, with the goal of earning the "Comprehensive Cancer Center" designation from the National Cancer Institute. The entire $370 million project consists of three components: a 10-story, 252,000-square-foot, cancer research tower with 98 laboratories, named for donors and local philanthropists Suzanne and Walter Scott; a seven-story, 325,000-square-foot, 108-bed hospital tower, named for donor CL Werner, chairman emeritus of one of the largest trucking firms in the U.S., headquartered in Omaha) and a multidisciplinary ambulatory clinic. This comprehensive, translational approach will allow researchers to accelerate breakthroughs in the lab and clinicians to provide personalized care plans for patients.

"The Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center represents an unprecedented opportunity for translational medicine," said Bruce Carpenter, HDR senior vice president and project principal. "We're providing research and clinical space in the same facility, focused on cancer patient care, designed to encourage collaboration. This will be a true embodiment of the translational medicine concept."

The new Cancer Center is named for Fred and Pamela Buffett, Omaha natives. The late Fred Buffett, a first cousin to Warren Buffett, lost his fight to kidney cancer in 1997, and the center was made possible through a major gift from his wife's foundation. Construction is expected to be complete in 2016.