Yale-New Haven plans $838 million neuroscience center

Yale-New Haven plans $838 million neuroscience center

NEW HAVEN — Yale-New Haven Hospital Monday unveiled plans to build up its St. Raphael campus with a 505,000-square foot, $838 million neuroscience center for research and treatment of diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and strokes.

The announcement took place at a press conference held inside a tent on a parking lot at 659 George St., where the hospital system plans to build the new center.

The project will develop a neuroscience focus for the St. Raphael campus while Yale’s cancer hospital takes the lead at its original York Street campus. Yale School of Medicine researchers will play an active research role at the new center.

At the announcement, Yale-New Haven Health CEO Marna Borgstrom said the new project tackles three goals:

• Easing the shortage of beds at the hospital so that patients need not have roommates. 

• Seizing opportunities for investment in research into neuroscientific diseases.

• “Moving closer to the eradication of insidious disease” through “innovative therapies and new treatments.”

“The project will be built within the existing footprint of the hospital campus, bordered by Sherman Avenue and George Street. It will shift the main entrance of the hospital from Chapel Street to George Street. An existing parking garage on Orchard Street will be extended to George Street to accommodate patients and a new 200-space underground garage will support the facility,” a hospital release stated.

The new center will provide an important “link to our research,” Yale School of Medicine Dean Robert Alpern said at the event. “Where Yale stands out in the nation is in the neurosciences,” capturing the most National Institute of Health research funding. Its current research includes new ways to reduce strokes and Parkinson’s and pain-reduction alternatives to opioids. Yake is part of an NIH network for clinical trials and a northeast ALS clinical trial consortium. The “number-one priority” for the space his school just took over at the Alexion 100 College St. tower will involve neuroscience research, he said.

Robert Alpern, dean of the Yale School of Medicine, said that the new Neurosciences Center, which is slated to open in 2024, will build on the university’s nationally recognized work in neuroscience. He noted that Yale is No. 1 in National Institutes of Health funding for neuroscience and houses one of the four Kavli Institutes founded by the Kavli Foundation. It is home to one of eight Alzheimer research centers in the country as well as a leader in multiple sclerosis research and the home for where a new depression drug has been developed in collaboration with Mount Sinai.

Alpern said his school’s number-one priority in the space it has taken over at the 100 College St. Alexion building will also involve neuroscience. He told the governor that not only will the new center further solidify Yale’s leading status for neuroscience but it might “help you build the economy of Connecticut by spinning out a lot of companies.”

“This will be transformational on this campus, transformational in this city and transformational in health care,” he said.

Yale New Haven President Rick D’Aquila said that the new center will allow the hospital “to provide a full spectrum of neuroscience care” from early diagnose to genetically tailored care. Currently, every brain tumor that the hospital treats is genomically sequenced; D’Aquila said the new center will ultimately allow it to expand to such sequencing for every neurological disease.

“This will provide groundbreaking care on a national level,” he said.

“New Haven is a central hub” for the life sciences,” Gov. Lamont said at the event. He spoke of improving transportation and housing so more scientists can live and work here.

The city’s counting on $8 million in building fees form the project over three years.

There’s no understating the significance” of the new center for “long-term prosperity,” health care, and jobs, Mayor Toni Harp said at the event. She echoed Lamont’s call to improve the state’s transportation infrastructure to support economic initiatives like this one.

She and Board of Alders President Tyisha Walker spoke of how “three brilliant women” who worked on the deal — they and Borgstrom “got it done.”

“We’re going to get some jobs out of this” as well, Walker noted.


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