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The 13-story One uCity Square building in West Philadelphia will now house Penn's Institute for RNA Innovation (Photo from Penn Medicine).

Over 50 Penn scientists and engineers are relocating to the 13-story One uCity Square building in West Philadelphia, where they will centralize their biomedical technology research efforts.

The building is located at 37th and Cuthbert Street. Scientists and staff will occupy four floors, or 115,000 square feet, which is the largest lease in the 400,000-square-foot building. 

One of the scientists who will be housed in the new building will be Drew Weissman, whose research on messenger RNA was used in the development of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. Weissman will oversee Penn’s Institute for RNA Innovation, which was previously spread out over four different locations on Penn’s campus. 

Weissman and Carl June, who was recently named one of the winners of the 2024 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, will partner in the new space to expand mRNA technology for medical uses beyond vaccines, such as CAR-C Tell treatments

In a Penn Medicine press release, June stated that CAR-T cell therapy could significantly transform the approach to cancer treatment.

All members of Penn's Center for Precision Engineering for Health, which aims to create advanced tools for diagnosing diseases, drug administration, tissue engineering, and gene editing, will be sharing the space. The center director, Dan Hammer, will be joined by Noor Momin, Sherry Gao, and Michael J. Mitchell

Additionally, other RNA institute members relocating to the new building include infectious disease specialist Harvey Friedman, who researches vaccines, and Vladimir Muzykantov, who is investigating the use of nanoparticles for mRNA and drug delivery into the body.

“Everything will be in one place,” Weissman told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “We’re still in the process of emptying boxes.”

The researchers and administrative staff will move in throughout this year and next year. Other tenants of the 13-story building include Century Therapeutics, Integral Molecular, Exponent, and Charles River Laboratories.