Students within Drake’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences will have the opportunity to learn in environments that enhance their ability for collaboration in groups and across academic disciplines. A five-building science hub now promotes linkages between the research and clinical areas of Drake’s health care programs and fosters interdisciplinary teaching, research, and study.
The Science Connector Building opened for classes this fall, introducing state-of-the-art laboratories and classrooms and becoming the crucial link in an interconnected complex that includes Olin, Fitch, Morgan E. Cline, and Harvey-Ingham halls. The new building offers flexible classroom spaces that can be configured to accommodate a variety of teaching styles and student needs, as well as collaboration spaces with adjustable seating, large whiteboards, and technology needed for individual and group study sessions. Expanded laboratory spaces accommodate a greater number of students who are interested in animal-based research.
“Drake’s pharmacy program has long been at the forefront of innovation and leadership in health care. Synergy and discovery made possible by new interconnected spaces and interdisciplinary exchange will only advance our students’ opportunities and accomplishments,” says Renae Chesnut, dean of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
The Science Connector Building is home to health sciences and biology faculty, along with Associate Professor of Athletic Training Nathan Newman, who joined the faculty on Aug. 1 as director of Drake’s new master’s program. Collaborations are advancing in areas like the drug discovery research occurring inside the laboratories of Associate Professor of Pharmacology Brian Gentry and Associate Professor of Biology Marc Bush. These professors have collaborated in identifying how viruses replicate and infect cells along with how these processes can be inhibited by drugs.
The University’s first new academic buildings since 1993, the Science Connector Building and the new Collier-Scripps Hall are the centerpieces of Drake’s $52 million STEM@DRAKE initiative—enhancing Drake’s educational opportunities in the sciences, technology, education, and mathematics. Along with renovations in Harvey Ingham and 3003 Forest Ave. (previously home to the University bookstore), these state-of-the-art facilities support new in-demand degree programs—including kinesiology, athletic training, occupational therapy, and data analytics—that address critical workforce shortages in the Des Moines metro area.