Birmingham’s Southern Research broke ground today on what it is calling a flagship biotech center that will anchor the development of 200,000 square feet of new or renovated wet lab space for life sciences.
The new facility, at the corner of Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard and Ninth Avenue South, will double the organization’s lab space for researching infectious diseases, create 150 new jobs at Southern Research and double the institution’s economic impact to $300 million a year.
“This project represents a major investment in the city of Birmingham and in the great work being done by our Southern Research team,” said Josh Carpenter, president and CEO of Southern Research. “It builds on our strengths and puts us in a position for dynamic growth in the future.”
In addition to the new facility, Southern Research plans to renovate much of its campus and build new space to advance genomic diagnostics work over the next few years.
“This is a transformational moment for Southern Research and for Birmingham,” said Birmingham Mayor Randall L. Woodfin. “As someone who benefited from a COVID-19 treatment developed with Southern Research’s experts, I am especially grateful to the scientists who work here and I’m proud to help them take their work to the next level.”
Ray Watts, president of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and chair of the Southern Research board of directors, said the new facility will help fulfill his vision of creating a world-class biotech corridor that stretches from the UAB campus to Southern Research and Ascension St. Vincent’s Birmingham.
“Between UAB and Southern Research, we are working to ensure that Birmingham and Alabama become the biotech commercialization center of the Southeast,” he said. “This new facility will help us incubate new biotech entrepreneurs and attract top talent to this area. Southern Research and its vision for this center are intricately tied to the future success of Birmingham.”