Bioconvergence & The Lab of the Future
The recent merger of biology and digital technology, known as bioconvergence, is revolutionizing biology and healthcare. Rapid commercialization of these research practices and fusion technologies is also transforming the lab space as the vessel for research. With many organizations attempting to define the parameters for designing bioconvergence research centers, HDR is uniquely positioned to provide expertise and guidance in this rapidly growing field.
In 2023, Somayeh Mousazadeh was awarded a formal HDR Fellowship to continue the work she and others throughout the company have been doing since 2021. This research on bioconvergence and its impact on research space will provide a better understanding of the spatial and infrastructure needs of bioconvergence facilities and insights into the design principles and considerations for planning them. The core team will develop a set of practical guidelines and recommendations for properly scoping and budgeting new bioconvergence facilities and identify best practices and case studies. Stay tuned to this space as this exciting research progresses.
Common Questions About Bioconvergence
Bioconvergence is the meeting of biology, research, and digital technology. Advancements in data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, genetics and synthetic biology, materials science and engineering have created new research and practice trends that are revolutionizing our understanding of disease, health and environment. For example, the development of more affordable and dramatically faster genome sequencing machines are accelerating our ability to analyze and decode genome data. The key to this transformation is the merger of biology and digital technology, resulting in the emerging field of biodigital convergence — or, simply, bioconvergence.
In full force, bioconvergence influences all aspects of life, including food production, healthcare, security, manufacturing, and the fight against climate change. It is identified as a priority field of research and practice among international policymakers, with an abundance of funding dedicated to its discoveries and applications. We should not be surprised to witness a global race over access to bioconvergence knowledge, technology, and means of practice very soon.
While the number of bioconvergence labs is increasing every day, many organizations are attempting to get a clearer picture of how bioconvergence may change lab spaces in the future. This will likely include a shift from traditional scientific experimentation to infrastructure for industrial-scale research and development that addresses real-world issues and applications. This fellowship aims to work outside of a project’s specific parameters to evaluate and catch up with scientific needs that may be radically different than what is currently imagined.
Core Fellowship Team
Somayeh is an award-winning architect, recognized for her commitment to architectural and environmental research. Over the past ten years, she has been a key team member on our research facility projects. She has explored many lab planning and design challenges, gaining a rich perspective on how both the science and user workflow should influence design.
It was a chance encounter with the 1970 science fiction film "Crimes of the Future" by David Cronenberg that focused her attention on the concept of bioconvergence. The movie's exploration of biotechnology, evolution and the future of human society struck her interest in how these advancements might impact society and the human body and their ethical and moral implications — something she has been researching on her own time ever since. Today, Somayeh is combining her experience with research facility design and her interest in the future of science and society to lead the core research team for the "Bioconvergence & the Lab of the Future" fellowship project.
With over 30 years of laboratory and health care planning and design experience, Jon has led and planned dozens of high-profile laboratory projects, including clinical facilities, advanced imaging facilities, clean rooms, and basic laboratories for cancer, neurosciences, aging, bioengineering and nano-scale science. For the last 20 years, Jon has led our translational health sciences practice where he has developed processes for planning facilities to take discoveries through the development process into clinical application. His portfolio of award-winning projects that connect research, science, medical education and healthcare delivery include the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, Johns Hopkins Medicine All Children’s Hospital Research and Education Facility, the MD Anderson Cancer Zayad Building for Personalized Cancer Care, and the Mayo Clinic Kellen Research Building.
A renowned thought leader in the science and healthcare design sectors, Jon was named the Architect of the Year by Healthcare Design's HCD10 program in 2017. Jon brings this expertise in developing guidelines for bleeding-edge scientific ideas to this fellowship project.
Fernando brings 27 years of experience in healthcare-focused planning and design on a wide range of projects in both the U.S. and abroad. He strives to help create the most advanced built environments for the promotion of healthcare discovery and exceptional patient care — places that support the highest sustainable and operational standards.
As a healthcare planner, Fernando has been recognized by the design industry for his pursuit of design innovation and for developing unique process improvement methodologies that combine building information modeling with simulation tools promoting the understanding and transformation of complex operational models into flexible and efficient healthcare delivery solutions. He brings his robust healthcare background and his commitment to mentoring a new generation of health and science planning and design leaders to this fellowship project.
Recent Insights from the Fellowship Team
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