Facility Overview

CELS will be a 100,000-square-foot LEED® Silver–certified building, whose design development is led by the S/L/A/M Collaborative, a national architectural firm with strong experience in designing science research centers. The building will comprise a comprehensive array of laboratories, seminar rooms, classrooms, and other facilities that will enable collaborative transdisciplinary research in the pharmaceutical life sciences and environmental sciences. It will join three existing science buildings around a “learning and discovery landscape” to give science research a high-visibility position on the campus.

The ground floor will be devoted to a state-of-the-art electron microscopy suite, a geographic information systems laboratory, existing and new CSAM centers and institutes, the facility’s primary lecture hall, and its largest seminar room. The ground floor atrium and lobby will house high-level video capabilities allowing visitors to share in the excitement of ongoing research—often in real time from our research laboratories.

The second floor has four major teaching laboratories adjacent to two seminar rooms and administrative offices. These laboratories will house students from environmental studies, a growing and critical discipline for our rising generation.

The environmental research laboratories will be concentrated on the building’s third floor and will consist of four major research laboratories connected by open support areas designed to house shared equipment and major infrastructure, promoting strong collaboration. In addition and to support the transdisciplinary focus, a computational research laboratory will be adjacent to the “wet” laboratories and will focus on informatics, genomics, and modeling.

Life sciences and pharmaceutical science laboratories will be concentrated on the fourth floor and mirror the third floor’s plan of four major research laboratories connected by open support areas designed to enhance shared studies. The fourth floor will also house a series of laboratories designed to be highly flexible and will be the home of various environmental and pharmaceutical start-up companies (incubators).

The building will have a “green” roof above the second floor that will be used as a study site and retreat. Green roofs are encouraged by LEED as an approach to cool the building and better retain “gray” water.

Life Sciences Laboratories

Housed on the fourth floor of CELS, the life sciences configuration will house pharmaceutical and medicinal research, environmental forensics, genomics, and serve as home to rotating biomedical/pharmaceutical and environmental incubators.

Life sciences research within CELS will run the gamut from studies on cellular disease mechanisms to the cellular uptake of contaminants in impacted environments. Programs in environmental forensics will help track trace pollutants, help in historic documentation of brown field issues, and extend our abilities to localize hydrocarbon sources. The flexibility of the CELS laboratories and construction that reinforces interdisciplinary studies will ease research in the transdisciplinary fields of bioinformatics and genomics.

Environmental Laboratories

Housed on the third floor of CELS, the environmental laboratories are aimed at addressing serious New Jersey environmental needs, exacerbated by urbanization and industrialization. The environmental laboratories support the University’s strategic and persistent commitment to serving science, the State of New Jersey, and the greater region. The facility will:

  • Help meet critical research space needs
  • Facilitate MSU’s continued expansion of its research agenda in environmental sustainability science (led by highly productive and creative researchers within the PSEG Institute for Sustainability Studies, Passaic River Institute, and Center for Environmental Management and Analysis)
  • Invigorate growth in related doctoral/Master’s programs (the first being the state’s only research-intensive PhD program in Environmental Management)

By fostering research collaborations among faculty and graduate students from science, mathematics, and other fields, the environmental labs will expand ongoing discovery, applications development, and advanced training. This will take place at the intersections of geochemistry, geodynamics, ecology, environmental modeling, and policy. Such activities are essential in the study and management of interactions between nature and society.

Constructing and infusing life into a new research-focused building is consistent with the University’s sustained strategy to energize overall research in the sciences and become a leading environmental research and support center. This facility will significantly increase available space for science research, reflecting a decade of steady and tremendous growth in scholarly output by faculty and graduate students.

Centers and Institutes

CSAM’s centers and institutes—specialized units devoted to particular areas of research and outreach—are housed on the first floor.

Sokol Institute for Pharmaceutical Life Sciences

Established by a generous bequest by Herman ’37 and Margaret ’38 Sokol, the Sokol Institute of Pharmaceutical Life Sciences promotes and supports a diverse array of transdisciplinary research programs that impact human health. The Institute also strives to bring a global perspective to its research with the study of disease mechanisms and therapeutic approaches for parasitic and other diseases. The Institute also creates an environment where new academic programs and research opportunities are available to the benefit of our students and industry with state-of-the-art training in diverse fields relevant to the pharmaceutical sciences.

The 2007 HealthCare Institute of New Jersey report notes that New Jersey’s higher educational institutions produce relatively few students with advanced degrees in health-related scientific disciplines relevant to industry. To this end, the Institute has been instrumental in the launch of a new MS program in pharmaceutical biochemistry at Montclair State University. This highly successful and unique program provides theoretical and hands-on training in areas such as biochemical pharmacology, biomolecular screening technologies, and medicinal chemistry, providing students with an overview of the entire drug discovery process.

The Institute strives to develop strong research ties with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry and is expanding its laboratory infrastructure to assist business incubators in exploring and developing new products and technologies. A recent collaborative program established with the Celgene Corporation in the global health arena is but one example of this.

PSEG Institute for Sustainability Studies

The PSEG Institute for Sustainability Studies is a partnership between MSU and energy producer PSEG. Based on a major contribution from PSEG, the Institute is a nucleus for broad discussions, symposia, research, and outreach on the emerging field of sustainability science—a science that blends ecology, economy, energy, and the environment.

Passaic River Institute

The Passaic River Institute (PRI) is the focal point in New Jersey for all issues related to this historic and critical river. As one of the most polluted urban rivers, the Passaic River is at the heart of a tremendous debate in terms of restoration and reclamation. The PRI created and pursues research opportunities to better understand the entire watershed. The Institute is also a resource for the community and runs summer environmental camps to bring urban children into the environment and garner a better understanding and appreciation of sustainability needs.