Ohio State opens Pelotonia Research Center
Interdisciplinary facility will benefit collaborative, solutions-oriented research
The Ohio State University
The Ohio State University held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the new Pelotonia Research Center Monday led by university leaders, researchers, representatives from Pelotonia and Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther.
The Pelotonia Research Center is the first new building to open at Carmenton, Ohio State's innovation district. This five-story, 305,000-square-foot laboratory building is equipped with new spaces, technologies and resources needed for researchers to work across disciplines to accelerate new discoveries.
The space is named in recognition of Pelotonia’s collaboration with Ohio State. Since 2008, Pelotonia participants have raised more than $260 million for cancer research at Ohio State.
“The name of the Pelotonia Research Center recognizes this partnership. With their grassroots movement as inspiration, this facility will help unleash the potential of all of our researchers to find bold solutions to the biggest health challenges of our time,” said Hiroyuki Fujita, chair of the Board of Trustees. “Ohio State researchers working here will find new ways to look at cancer, heart disease, mental illness, aging and more. And instead of addressing different aspects of these challenges in different places across campus, the facility will allow them to physically come together in one place.”
Innovation at the Pelotonia Research Center will focus on areas including cancer, gene- and cell-based therapies, cardiovascular and pulmonary medicine, neurological disease, microbiome, food systems and health, artificial intelligence, sensory biology, and social and environmental determinants of health.
“It’s great to be back here at Carmenton to celebrate the opening chapter of an exciting new facility that will transform lives and serve as a beacon of hope throughout Columbus and beyond,” Ginther said. “In this building, the research and the great transformational developments are going to save lives, and make families and neighborhoods stronger. All of this strengthens and widens the scope of prosperity to include all our neighbors. That is the Columbus Way.”
“Today’s ceremony highlights and is a tangible reminder of Ohio State’s land-grant mission dedicated to creating and discovering knowledge to improve the well-being of our local, state, regional and national communities,” said Peter Mohler, interim executive vice president for research, innovation and knowledge. “The Pelotonia Research Center embodies that mission and is dedicated to research and innovation with a focus on solutions.”
The center will also include a second home for the Pelotonia Institute for Immuno-Oncology, dedicated to studying the immune system’s role in fighting cancer, and the Center for Cancer Engineering.
The Pelotonia Research Center’s location in Carmenton will be a benefit to collaborative, curiosity-driven and solutions-oriented research. Carmenton is connected to Ohio State’s academic and medical campuses and is in the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the Midwest.
“If you’re one of the 40,000 people who has participated in Pelotonia or one of the more than 700,000 donors who have ever contributed to our shared vision over the last 14 years, this building is named in your honor and a testament to your tireless commitment and advocacy," said Doug Ulman, CEO of Pelotonia. “And this is so much more than just a building. It’s a beacon of hope. Hope for each and every person who hears those three dreaded words: ‘You have cancer.’ Hope for every scientist and clinician here at The Ohio State University who seeks to understand this disease in order to treat it more successfully in the future.”
Amy Moore, professor and chair of the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, will lead a laboratory in the new research center and said it will boost collaboration and lead to better outcomes for patients.
“In my laboratory, I get to study how we can improve nerve growth, what we can apply to improve pain treatment in patients who may have devastating, debilitating outcomes,” she said. “It is in this laboratory that we get to innovate and be on the field of what’s going to be the next great thing for our patients.”
The new research space is where experts will connect to understand some of the biggest questions facing health and well-being:
- Engineers, biologists, material scientists and physicians will work together to find new solutions for cancer.
- Data scientists, biologists and engineers will explore ways to use artificial intelligence for better health outcomes.
- Oncologists, immunologists, data scientists and biologists will look to harness the power of the body’s immune system to fight cancer.
- Pharmacists, neuroscientists, engineers and veterinary researchers will discover how next-generation gene therapy research can help address disease.
- Psychiatrists, psychologists and neurologists will better understand how to prevent, diagnose and treat mental illnesses.
The opening continues the momentum in bringing Carmenton, the region’s innovation district, from vision to reality.
The Energy Advancement and Innovation Center, a space for Ohio State researchers, students, local entrepreneurs and industry experts to partner on the next generation of renewable energy, artificial intelligence and smart systems, is expected to open in the fall. And The James Outpatient Care, which will offer comprehensive cancer care from diagnosis to treatment through survivorship and expand patients’ access to clinical trials, is also expected to open in the summer.