The Richard and Barbara Silverman Hall for Molecular Therapeutics and Diagnostics, a new building that will encourage discoveries at the intersections of multiple scientific disciplines, will be dedicated Thursday, Nov. 12, at Northwestern University.

Silverman Hall will be home to the Chemistry of Life Processes Institute (CLP) and approximately 245 researchers and staff in 17 research groups. The facility will bring together faculty, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, staff and undergraduates from the physical sciences, engineering and life sciences to address fundamental questions in biomedical research and develop new medicines and diagnostics.

“Acting as an umbrella for a variety of centers, the Chemistry of Life Processes Institute will facilitate collaborations among — and help bridge — different cultures,” said Thomas V. O’Halloran, director of the institute and the Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. “By lowering the barriers to scientific discovery, we hope, for example, to design new drugs for the treatment of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases as well as develop improved techniques for early-stage diagnosis of disease.” 

 “Silverman Hall will provide state-of-the-art facilities for the important research that is being done at Northwestern,” said President Schapiro. “The interdisciplinary approach to research and teaching that is a hallmark of Northwestern will be greatly enhanced by this wonderful new building.”

The building is named for Richard B. Silverman, the John Evans Professor of Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, and his wife, Barbara. Silverman donated to the University a portion of the royalties that he receives from sales of the drug Lyrica to help fund construction of the building. In 1989 Silverman and his Northwestern research group first synthesized an organic molecule, which ultimately was marketed as Lyrica. The drug, sold by Pfizer, Inc., is used to combat epilepsy, neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia.

The Chemistry of Life Processes Institute played an instrumental role in the planning of Silverman Hall by bringing together interdisciplinary teams of scientists, including chemists, biologists, physicians, computational scientists and engineers, to aid in the design and development of the laboratories and instrumentation facilities.

The dedication of the $100 million building will be held at 5 p.m. at the main entrance at 2170 Campus Drive on the Evanston campus. Northwestern President Morton Schapiro and Professor O’Halloran will make remarks at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. A reception will follow. The Northwestern community is invited to attend.