One of the University of Calgary's crown jewels will become even more brilliant next year. The Faculty of Kinesiology, recognized worldwide as a leader in human performance, sport medicine, joint injury and arthritis research, is set to expand to the tune of $14 million, by 28,000 square feet.
The expansion, which will add one floor to the Sport Medicine Centre and two to the Human Performance Laboratory, will see the SMC and HPL research coordinated under the watchful eyes of Drs. Benno Nigg and Walter Herzog.
"It is our intent to integrate human health research from the molecular or cellular level to the level of the patient or athlete," Herzog explained.
While there has been a trend in university administration and faculties towards downsizing and abolishing of positions, Dr. Ron Zernicke, Dean of the Faculty of Kinesiology, insists the expansion and restructuring within the faculty are not motivated by either trend. Rather, he sees it as a bold step forward.
"With the 28,000 square foot expansion, the U of C now has an outstanding opportunity to develop a one-of-a-kind research program in nutrition, genetics, and human performance," stated Zernicke.
"As a faculty, we have decided that we can be excellent in only a few areas, and we will build on our current strengths," he continued. "In our five year plan, with the new facilities in place, we project to have an increase of 90 per cent in our graduate student enrolment, to add new 12 faculty members, and to have a 35 per cent increase in post-doctoral fellows and scholars."
However, some faculty members have already seen their roles significantly altered. Dr. Roger Jackson stepped down as Director of the SMC on June 1, while Dr. Cy Frank ceased being the SMC Clinical and Research Director, also on June 1.
The ambitious restructuring is seen as necessary though. It needs to happen in order to move forward while maintaining the high level of respect and performance the faculty has enjoyed over the past decade.
"Being at the cutting edge of research means anticipating the great questions the future will bring," Herzog pointed out. "The last century has been called the century of physics, the present century has been labeled the one for biology. We believe that many of this century's important discoveries and scientific advances, particularly as they relate to health and well-being will be made by combining biology with disciplines such as mechanics, mathematics and physics, but also with the social sciences and humanities. We will attempt to create such a research environment right here on this campus."
Construction on the expansion is scheduled to begAll n August 2003 with the new labs slated to open in fall of 2004.